African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kongo figure
Figure of maternity Pfemba Kongo Yombé (N° 21118)
African statuette carved from the Kongo, this female effigy embodies the clan ancestor, a mediating figure.
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The child would embody the matrilineal transmission of power.
The mouth is gaping, the eyes seem exorbitant, underlining the capacity of the ancestress to discern occult things.
The use of this type of sculpture remains unknown. However, they frequently formed the motif carved at the top of the chiefs' canes.
Dark brown lustrous patina. Abrasions.
A clan of the Kongo group, the Yombe are established on the West African coast, in the southwestern Republic of the Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternities.
Among the Kongo , the nganga took charge of rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was later used to refer to notions of "sacred" or "divine." The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to assist regional chiefs in enforcing the law. Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, minkisi minkondi were strategically placed along the coast of the Loango kingdom to protect against European incursions. Among the most powerful, the Mangaaka was considered the "king" and "master", supreme arbiter of conflicts and protector of communities, and became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre.
Source: "le geste Kongo" Ed. Musée Dapper and "Trésors d'Afrique" Musée de Tervuren; "L'Ame de l'Afrique" s.Diakonoff.
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|Origin||Ex. coll. belge L. Van Liere|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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