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Statuette Bembe, Bwende, Kitebi (N° 18367)

This male figure embodies an ancestor. The keloid tattoos bear witness to the successive stages of the initiation to which the individual was subjected. The eyes were set with ivory, earthenware or horn.
Oneblis on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex. Brazzaville, and not to be confused with the Bembé group of northern Lake Tanganinyika, the small Babembé group, Béembé, was influenced by the Téke rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongo. Settled in the present-day Republic of Congo, the Beembe originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, along with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. They were under the tutelage of the king ntotela elected by the governors. The ivory, copper and slave trade were the main resources of this little-known group until colonization. The village manager, nga-bula, was in charge of interceding with the ancestors. Hunting being a major activity, ancestors were invoked through statuettes. These idealized representations of ancestors, kitebi or bimbi consecrated by the sorcerer, bore attributes of hunters or healers. Some of them, such as the Bakongo, were magical objects minkisi with nails and holes in which medicines, bilongo, or relics of ancestors, were introduced. This statuette has an orifice in the part for this purpose.
Litt.: Babembé Statuary Lehuard and Lecomte. ED.5Continents.  

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OriginCollection majeure, Morice
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight0.18 Kg
Estimated datingmid xx°
Socle includedYes

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