African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statuette Mangbetu

Female figure Mangbetu Beli (N° 17446)

Combined with fertility rites, this sculpture adorned with multicolored pearl necklaces that highlight its slender shapes exudes the beauty of a young pregnant woman. The object expresses fullness by the protective gesture of the hand placed on the bulging abdomen. Body lines, like those of the face, include traditional ethnic paintings, inspired by tattoos of the nearby Asua pygmies, and which varied according to the circumstances. Indeed, among the Mangbetu from an early age, upper-class children suffered a compression of the cranial box, held tight by rapia ties. Later, the hair was 'knitted' on wicker strands and a headband would enser the forehead to bring out the hair and form this majestic headdress accentuating the elongation of the skull. The ancient names beli anthropomorphic figures embodying ancestors, stored out of sight, and comparable to those belonging to their secret society nebeli . Dark Skate satinée.br - The Mangebetu Kingdom in northern Congo produced architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, adornments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality. The ethnologist G.A. Schweinfurth in 1870 described its symmetry and refinement, while at the same time testifying to the ritual killings and human sacrifices practiced by the people of elongated heads.  

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OriginEx-collection suisse
EthnyMangbetu
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, perles
Height42
Width12
Weight0.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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