African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Holo
Statue Holo (N° 14820)
Located in the Democratic Congo between the Yaka and the Tchokwé of Angola, the small Holo ethnic group migrated from the Angolan coast to settle near the banks of the Kwango River. Hunting and agriculture provide for their livelihood. Neighbouring ethnic groups, such as the Suku and Yaka, influenced their traditional sculptures. The Holos have produced hexagonal masks and prestige objects for the ruling elite. The Holos used sculptures, asexual anthropomorphic figures and bird effigies to guard against the influence of evil spirits, including the moon and the rainbow. These statues were placed near the houses as protection from lightning. In "Chokwe and their Bantu Neighbours" (p.110), the author states that these figures hamba named kaponya wa pwo nyi cikungulu symbolize fertility and embody a nocturnal tutelary spirit.
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Positioned frontally on long, half-flexed legs, the female figure with the owl face is depicted with hands gathered on the abdomen. Black cotton ribbons are ritually knotted by holes on either side of the chest. Satin golden brown patina, pink ochre and cream highlights. Ref. In: "Africa" Coll. Sargos
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