The woodcarvers of the Moba people in Togo have a unique approach to their craft that differs significantly from the western style. While western woodcarving often emphasizes the realistic representation of the human form or of animals, the Moba people’s tchitcheri figures are intentionally abstracted and genderless, representing a departure from western notions of realism.
Moreover, the Moba people’s woodcarving is steeped in cultural and spiritual significance, as their figures serve as offerings to their ancestors and embody a sense of universality within their community. In contrast, western woodcarving often places less emphasis on spiritual or cultural meaning and is more concerned with aesthetics or functionality.
Additionally, the Moba people’s woodcarvers follow a strict tradition that only allows the sons of diviners to craft tchitcheri figures. This contrasts with the western style of woodcarving, which is often open to anyone with the interest and skill to pursue it.
Overall, the woodcarvers of the Moba people of Togo offer a unique and culturally significant approach to their craft that differs markedly from the western style of woodcarving.