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

Mangbetu statue (N° 20410)

The statues of Mangbetu ancestors are easily identified by the typical headdress they have. This headdress represents the ideal canon of beauty within the Mangbetu aristocracy. From a very young age, the children's skulls were compressed with raffia cords, which deformed their skulls, and a high, flared headdress accentuated their importance. The body markings, which varied according to circumstances, are associated with the tribal paintings and linear tattoos of the Asua pygmies with whom the tribe had relations. The elders name beli these ancestor figures stored out of sight and comparable to those belonging to their secret society nebeli .
Slightly missing and cracked. Rebalancing with felt under one of the feet.
The Mangebetu 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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OriginEx-collection Pernas
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm84
Width21 cm
Weight5.70 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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