Ex-Collection Swiss African Art. The ruler of the kingdoms of tribal Africa did not sit on the ground in any way, a great diversity of foundations were drawn up by the sculptors, such as this insignia of sovereignty, cephalomorphic, embodying the power of the Mangbetu leader. The seat from which arise two small brass domes associated with fertility, is supported by four feet. It is covered with oiled leather while the contours are embellished with large upholstery nails. The high hairstyle is characteristic of that of the Mangbetu aristocrats: from an early age, children suffered a compression of the cranial box by means of raffia bonds. Later, the Mangbetu knitted their hair on wicker strands and applied a headband to the forehead to extract the hair and produce this particular headdress that accentuates the lengthening of the head. Mangbetu's aesthetic refinement, and the emphasis on fertility. The ancient names beli these figures of ancestors stored out of sight and comparable to those belonging to their secret society nebeli . Established in the forest in northeastern Zaire, the Mangbetu kingdom has expressed itself through architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, adornments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality.
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