African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kuba figure
Kuba figure (N° 22268)
The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the high ranks of their society. The extremely organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed a king or nyim at its center, inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group. The Kuba and Kongo groups also made use of figurative sculptures associating mythical characters and animals or clan emblems.
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Glossy brown patina. Erosions.
Among the Kuba clans, the Ngeende produced an abundance of prestige carvings, sometimes intended for neighboring groups. According to tradition, the Ngeende, who are said to be descended from the mythical ancestor Woot, came from the north of the Sankuru River. After being defeated by a Bushoong king, they joined the Kuba kingdom in the 16th century. They produced a large number of masks associated with the story of the mythical ancestor Woot.
The Ngeende are established in the eastern region of the Kuba kingdom. According to oral tradition, they descended from Woot and adopted the Kuba religion to which they incorporated Kete beliefs. They worship nature spirits ngesh of Kete origin.