African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Pende Figure
Kishi-Kishi Pende Bapende Maternity (N° 20767)
The large female Pende Kishikishi statues were perched on the highest point of the roof of the chiefdom hut. They were a true ritual object intended to protect not only the chief but also the village community.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern Pende have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu, have been imprinted on their extensive tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity, the Mbuya masks, produced every ten years, have a festive function and embody different characters, including the chief, the diviner and his wife, the prostitute, the possessed, etc. The masks of initiation and those of power, the minganji, represent the ancestors and are performed successively during the same ceremonies, agricultural festivals, initiation and circumcision rituals, and the enthronement of the chief. Governed by family chiefs, the djogo, with a priestly function, the Pende have sculptures intended to make contact with the ancestors, to whom sacrifices are offered. They are stored in a room or house adjoining that of the chief.
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