African art > Statues > Statue Pfemba
Maternity figure Kongo Yombé Pfemba (N° 14830)
African ritual objects have various appearances, such as this tribal sculpture of the Kongo , where a seated female effigy breastfeeds a child. She embodies the ancestor of the clan, a mediator figure, as evidenced by the losangic scarifications of the bust. The Yombe adorned their textiles, mats and loincloths, with this type of losangic motif pattern in relation to proverbs glorifying work and social unity. The open mouth shows off traditionally lined teeth, and wide-eyed, underline the grandfather's ability to perceive the afterlife, to discern hidden things. This type of statuette also adorned the top of the prestige canes, mwala . Satin patina with warm highlights. Fissures.Belonging to the Kongo group, the Yombe are established on the west coast of Africa, in the southwestern Republic of Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternity wards. In the Kongo, the nganga took care of the rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the concepts of "sacred" or "divin". The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to help regional leaders enforce the law. A metal object was nailed to a wooden figure as soon as a decision was made, each nail evoking a particular case: litigants, divorce, conflicts between communities... The nkondi wanted to ensure that the agreement to settle the conflict was properly implemented, and that individuals feared the consequences of their behaviour. His appearance thus personified the resident strength. From the second half of the 20th century, minkisi minkondi were strategically placed along the coasts of the Loango kingdom to protect against European incursions. Among the most powerful, the Mangaaka was considered the "roi" and "master", supreme arbiter of conflict and protector of communities, and which became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre.
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Source: ", the gesture Kongo" Ed. Museum Dapper and "Treasures of Africa" Museum of Tervuren.
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