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African art > Head rest > Mangbetu headrest

Mangbetu headrest with caryatids (N° 21554)

A figure of a kneeling couple supports the tray of this piece of mangbetu furniture. The body tracings refer to the ceremonial paintings of the clan. The high hairstyle is characteristic of the Mangbetu aristocracy: from an early age, children had their skulls compressed by means of raffia ties. Later, the Mangbetu knitted their hair on strands of wicker and applied a band on the forehead to extract the hair and produce this particular headdress that accentuates the elongation of the head. aesthetic refinement of the Mangbetu, and the emphasis placed on fertility . The elders name 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 expressed itself through architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, ornaments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality.
Bright patina, cracks.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyMangbetu
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height17
Depth21
Width7
Weight0.70 Kg

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