African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Bembe fetish

Bembe fetish (N° 22081)

Represented naked and squatting, this ancestor figure bears the keloid signs testifying to the successive stages of initiation to which the individual was subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with bone. Shiny orange-brown patina. Erosions and cracks.

Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex.Brazzaville, and not to be confused with the Bembe group of northern Lake Tanganinyika, the small Babembé group, Béembé, was influenced by the Téké rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongo. Settled in the current Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. Hunting being a major activity, the ancestors were invoked through statuettes. These idealized representations of ancestors,kitebi or bimbi consecrated by the sorcerer, sported the attributes of hunters or healers. Some of them, as among the Bakongo, were magic objects minkisi with nails and which had holes in which medicines, bilongo, or relics of ancestors, were introduced. This statuette is provided with an anal orifice for this purpose.  

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Originex-collection belge
EthnyBembe
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm15
Width7 cm
Weight0.15 Kg

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