African art > Puppets, dolls > Bwende head

Bwende head (N° 21479)

This childlike puppet-like head forms a reduction of the famous niombo , a funerary anthropomorphic "package", sometimes of giant size, representing the deceased among the Bwende. The niombo was buried at funerals during ancestor cults. It is made of a wickerwork frame, swaddled with textile, and was kept in the house of the chiefs. The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo constituted the Kôngo group, led by the king ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory and copper trade and the slave trade. With the same beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture in relation to their vision of the world. The sculptures of the Bwendé were strongly inspired by those of the neighboring Beembe.  

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OriginCollection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)textile, vannerie
Height cm33
Width13 cm
Weight0.60 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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