African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Beembe statue

Beembe statue (N° 22708)

The Beembé are appreciated in African art for the care and finishing given to the sculptures of ancestors.
Couple of statues figured side by side. Intricate keloid tattoos are drawn in relief from the chest to the pubis. These scarifications bear witness to the successive stages of initiation to which an individual has been subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with horn. This type of sculpture formed a support intended for the rituals of the Lemba society, with a view to healing for example. Golden satin patina, dark highlights, deep erosions.
Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex.Brazzaville, and not to be confused with the Bembe group of northern Lake Tanganinyika, the small Babembé group, Béembé, was influenced by the Téké rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongos. Settled in the current Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. Hunting being a major activity, the ancestors were invoked through statuettes. These idealized representations of ancestors,kitebi or bimbi consecrated by the sorcerer, sported the attributes of hunters or healers. Some of them, as among the Bakongo, were magical objects minkisi with nails and which had cavities in which medicines, bilongo, or relics, were introduced.  

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Originex-collection française
EthnyBembe
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm41
Depth13 cm
Width21 cm
Weight3.40 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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