African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mangbetu statue

Mangbetu figure (N° 20654)

German African art collection.
Inspired by the tattoos of the neighboring Asua pygmies, the designs inscribed on the face and body of this figure of African tribal art are associated with the traditional paintings of the Mangbetu ethnic group. The main characteristic of this community is the elongation of the skull caused by the very tight placement of a bandage around that of young children.
The ancients called beli anthropomorphic figures embodying ancestors, stored out of sight, and comparable to those belonging to their secret society nebeli . Orange patina,clear. < Slight desiccation cracks.
The Mangbetu kingdom in northern Congo produced architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, ornaments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality. The ethnologist G.A. Schweinfurth in 1870 described their symmetry and refinement, while at the same time witnessing the ritual murders and human sacrifices practiced by "the people of the elongated heads".  

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OriginCollection allemande
Height cm57
Width15 cm
Weight1.65 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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