African art > Statues > Statuette Ndengese
Statuette Ndengese Totshi (N° 17599)
The female ancestor is depicted kneeling, hands on thighs. The flared hairstyle, sometimes topped with a top horn, is characteristic of the hairstyles acquired by the heads Totshi belonging to the association ikoho and evokes particular proverbs. It symbolizes respect, intelligence and maturity. Embossed losangic scarifications, corresponding to a symbolic and other purely decorative graphics, are traced on the bust. Dark brown patina abraded.
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Central African population based in Kasai, a neighbour of the Kuba, the Ndengese form one of the clans of a common ancestor Mongo, some of them from the Upper Nile. They produced first art statues with absent or truncated lower limbs, covered with graphic symbols, symbolizing the prestige of the leader. These statues were placed on the graves of members etotoshi belonging to the supreme level of the hunting society ikoho . In addition to their sculpted objects linked to social prestige, including cuts and sceptres, their masks are derived from kuba productions or borrowed from the Kete.
Ref.: Treasures of Africa Tervuren Museum; African Arts, Signs and Symbols C.Faik-Nzuji.
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