African art > Maternity, statues, bronze, wood > Kongo Maternity

Maternity figure Pfemba Kongo (N° 19939)

Tribal sculpture of the Kongo, female effigy seated cross-legged, supporting a child. She embodies the ancestor of the clan, a mediating figure, as evidenced by the rhombic scarifications on the bust. The Yombe indeed adorned their textiles, mats and loincloths, with this type of pattern of rhombus motifs in relation to proverbs glorifying work and social unity. The open mouth shows traditionally filed teeth. This type of figure also adorned the top of prestige canes, mwala . Black satin patina. Belonging to the Kongo group, the Yombe are established on the West African coast, in the southwestern Republic of the Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternities. Among the Kongo , the nganga took charge of rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was later used to refer to notions of "sacred" or "divine." The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to assist regional chiefs in enforcing the law. A metal object was nailed to a wooden figure as soon as a decision was made, each nail evoking a particular case: litigants, divorce, conflicts between communities...The nkondi wanted to ensure that the agreement that was to settle the conflict was well enforced, and that individuals feared the consequences of their behavior. His appearance thus personified the force residing there. From the second half of the twentieth century, minkisi minkondi were strategically placed along the coast of the Loango kingdom to protect against European incursions. Among the most powerful, the Mangaaka was considered the "king" and "master", supreme arbiter of conflicts and protector of communities, and became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre. Source: "le geste Kongo" Ed. Musée Dapper and "Trésors d'Afrique" Musée de Tervuren.  

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Originex-collection luxembourgeoise
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight1.75 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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