African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Bembe figure
Bembe figure (N° 22079)
Embodying the spirit of an ancestor, this sculpted miniature bears keloid tattoos testifying to the successive stages of initiation to which the individual was subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with bone. Golden mahogany lustrous patina.
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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 rites and culture Téké, but especially by that of the Kongo. Settled in the current Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. The head of the village, nga-bula, was responsible for interceding with the ancestors. 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 magic objects minkisi with nails and which had holes in which medicines, bilongo, or relics of ancestors, were introduced. This statuette is provided with an anal orifice for this purpose.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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