African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mangbetu Statue
Ancestor figure Mangbetu Nebeli (N° 18283)
The geometric patterns inscribed on this naturalistic male figure evoke the body paintings and tribal scarifications of the Mangbetu, similar to those of the Asua pygmies with whom the tribe had relations. The latter varied depending on the circumstances. The fan hairstyle was sported by the Mangbetu: from an early age, children were compressed from the cranial box by means of raffia ties. Later, the Mangbetu their hair on wicker strands and applied a headband to the forehead to extract the hair and produce this particular headdress that accentuates the lengthening of the head. Slightly satin dark patie, abrasions, fine desication cracks.
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The ancient names beli these figures of ancestors stored out of sight and comparable to those belonging to their secret society nebeli .
In the forest in northeastern Zaire, the Mangbetu kingdom has expressed itself through architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, adornments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality. The Mangbetu story was based on the refinement of his court but also on cannibalistic customs. King Mangbetu Munza was so dubbed The cannibal king.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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