African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kongo figure
Kongo Yombe ancestor figure (N° 21130)
This statuette evoking the mythical ancestor of the Kongo is represented kneeling on a turtle, carrying a calabash. Kongo myths or proverbs illustrate the various qualities of prudence, longevity, etc., of the turtle. The deciphering of this type of sculpture requires knowledge of the Kongo sayings. Cracks of desiccation. Satin patina.
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The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by theKongo kingdom from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious rites, particularly by means of carved fetishes.
In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the present-day DRC, Angola and Gabon. Two centuries later, the Portuguese came into contact with the Kongo and converted their king to Christianity. Although monarchical, the Kongo political system had a democratic aspect because the king was actually placed at the head of the kingdom following an election held by a council of tribal governors. This king, also called ntotela, controlled the appointment of court and provincial officials. The nganga, at the same time healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through consecrated figures called nkisi.
Ref : "La Maternité dans l'art d'Afrique noire" Massa ; "l'Art tribal d'Afrique noire" Bacquart.
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|Origin||Ex. coll. belge belge L. Van Liere|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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