African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue OviMbundu
Statue OviMbundu (N° 14329)
Bracelets and tin hair, wide curls, rows of tiny pearls, form the adornments of this statuette of young woman OviMbundu, represented frontally in an attitude of tension, arms spread from the bust, straight head . A scarification, soaring, running from nose to forehead, completes the puncture patterns present on the cheeks. A feather was probably inserted in front of the headdress, in the opening practiced for this purpose.
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This figure may have been associated with female initiation rituals, fertility, or divinatory, the hairstyle evoking that, fashioned with oil and red ochre, of young girls nyaneka as a result of the ritual efuko . Honey satin patina, desication cracks. It is on the Benguéla plateau in Angola that the Ovimbudu , Ovimbundu, composed of farmers and herders, have been established for several centuries. Forming the largest ethnic group in Angola, they belong to Bantu speakers, such as the Nyaneka, the Handa , Nkhumbi, and other groups in the Huila region, or Wila. Their statuary in a light wood is relatively limited.
Ref. In: "The tribal art of black Africa" ed. Assouline; " Treasures of Africa" Museum of Tervuren.