Travelling Spirit


Springstone (Serpentine)

  • 43cm (h)
  • 58cm (w)
  • 33.5cm (d)


Shona artist Tonderai Sowa with one of his abstract sculptures

Tonderai Sowa


“The spirit travels from one part of an extended family to another, with a message that the family should gather together.”

The movement of the spirit is shown by the low wide movement in the different directions. In Shona belief, a mudzimu (ancestor spirit) watches over an extended family. This is the spirit who would call the living family members back to the kumusha (rural family homeland).

Curiously, Tonderai himself has been struggling with a condition which he interpreted as spirit possession. Apparently, the spirit of his maternal great-grandfather was making a nuisance of himself.

You might scoff at this as superstitious nonsense, but we were very concerned for his health! Luckily, on his better days, Tonderai was able to work. Clearly, he has used his spirit possession as inspiration for some very creative sculptures.

This lovely sculpture would make a fantastic centrepiece for a coffee table or sideboard. Springstone is also suitable for outdoor display as it is impermeable and therefore naturally frost-resistant.