African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yombe figure

Kongo Yombe figure (N° 20245)

The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom, from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious rituals, particularly through the use of nkondo nkisi carved fetishes. This finely detailed female figure, wearing a dignitary headdress, a symbol of the mythical ancestor probably associated with fertility cults, is shown kneeling. Scarifications dot her bust. These cuts, made with needles, knives and razors, were then coated with charcoal or ashes in order to accelerate the healing process and form prominent patterns. Satin patina. In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the present 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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OriginEx-collection luxembourgeoise
EthnyKongo
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height28
Width11
Weight0.55 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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