This Zande sculpture, with a vaguely animal appearance, is characterized by its ovoid head, topped with a tuft of feathers, and offering minimalist features framed by large rhombic ears. The bust bears small stylized arms surmounting a protuberant abdomen. Parallel incisions would refer to traditional scarifications. Grainy reddish-brown, powdery patina, erosions.
African art has two types of Azande statues: The Kudu statues, which are between 30 and 50 cm high, represent ancestors, and the Yanda statues of 10 to 20 cm, in animal or human form, having an apotropaic role, exhibited during the divinatory rites during the rituals of the Mani society. Formerly referred to as "Niam-Niam" because they were considered cannibals, the tribes grouped under the name of Zande, Azandé, settled from Chad on the border of the DRC (Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two souls, one of which is transformed upon his death into an animal-totem of the clan to which he belongs. The name of their ethnic group means: "those who own a lot of land", an allusion to their warlike past originating in Sudan. The Yanda statuettes were exhibited in divinatory seances during which the head of the society smeared them with paste and blew smoke on them. The Zandé on the other hand used poison oracles in many circumstances, and had a secret language.  

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OriginCollection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, perles de verre, plumes
Height cm51
Width10 cm
Weight0.65 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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