African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mbala figure
Mbala Pindi maternity figure (N° 13891)
Ex-collection French African art.
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A tribal sculpture of a woman, a child on the hip, it stands out by a careful representation of the details and has a beautiful oiled patina to the satin touch, lighter in the protrusions.
This type of object was a sacred symbol of authority. The hairstyle depicted offers great similarities with the mukote cap which, among the western pends with which the Mbala shared the rituals of mukanda circumcision , became a symbol of the struggle against colonization in the early 20th century ( "Congo Masks", ed. M.L. Félix, p.114)
A large drying crack appeared. wood erosion. This motherhood, accompanied by a musician figure, Limba, was part of the pair of emblematic Pindi sculptures attributed to Chief Mbala during his induction. After a retreat of a few days, the royal insignia and charms were attributed to him, destined to fight the powers opposed to hunting, social peace, and harvests. Coming from Angola in the 17th century, the Mbala settled in the north-west of Zaire and in the east among the Pelende, the Suku, hang them, and the Yaka. Formerly matrilineal, they are made up of clans led by the maternal uncle. The chief was in charge of the cult of ancestors, however quite limited.
Ref.: "African Art " ed. Mazenod ; "Treasures of Africa" ed. Tervuren Museum ; "Tribal Art of Black Africa." JB Bacquart; " Umbangu, Congo Art at the Royal Museum of Belgian Congo" ed. Cultura.
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