African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ngbaka Fetish
Ngbaka Fetish (N° 16358)
The Ubangian crucible has produced many statuettes that share certain similarities, such as a heart-shaped face, as in the Ogooué River region of Gabon. Some authors (Celenko 1983) have attributed this type of work to the Zande living north of the Ngbaka.The Ngbaka form a homogeneous people of the north-west of the R.D.C., south of Ubangui. The Ngandi live to the east and the Ngombe to the south. A nasal ridge running up to the mouth here divides the large concave orbits characterizing the ovoid face of this hermaphrodite character. The rounded volumes of the body follow one another with rhythm from the head, with a rounded back bearing forward two small short arms gathered around the chest, a narrow bust widening towards developed lower limbs carried by massive feet.
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Satin patina, abraded by use, revealing the thread of the wood.
Tribu located on the left bank of Ubangui, in northwestern Congo, the Sudanese-speaking Ngbaka practice agriculture, and their artistic achievements were inspired by those of the neighbouring tribes, with a frequent distinctive feature, however, the front line dotted with linear keloids. Young people are prepared for adult life through rituals called " gaza" and trained by former initiates, the bugaza. Their statues usually represent the primordial ancestors, Seto and his sister Nabo, and are installed on altars for propitiatory rites. They also produced everyday objects and anthropomorphic musical instruments.