African art > Statues > Statue Mangbetu
Figure masculine Mangbetu Nebeli (N° 14510)
The typical Mangbetu high headdress stands atop the head of this ancestor effigy. The eyes are enclosed in a delicately sculpted face offering a certain serenity. Wide ears stand out, emphasizing the importance of listening, of perception. The long neck extends from a straight column. Excessive feet and hands contrast with the general morphology. Body paintings and scarifications, evoked by geometric patterns similar to those of the Asua pygmies with which the tribe had relations, and which varied according to the circumstances, are part of the whole. The ancients name beli these figures of ancestors stored out of sight and comparable to those belonging to their secret society nebeli.
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In Mangbetu from an early age, children were compressed from the cranial box, which was held tight by raffia bonds. Later, the young women \
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