African art > Statues > Statue Yombe

Yombe Drum Statue (N° 16346)

This figure seated in a suit, holding his sex with both hands, is surmounted by a drum adorned with a face carved in relief. Wide open, glazed eyes are recurrent in Kongo statuary. They are associated with psychic abilities. The mouths reveal traditionally lined teeth. The drum is stretched with animal skin nailed to the contours highlighted by a raffia braid. The crusty, dark surface has localized red and burgundy pigments adjacent to residues dotted with white clay. Misses on the back. This object evoking virility could be associated with the rites of circumcision and the music that accompanied it. However more than one function were usually assigned to Yombe sculptures.
In the 13th century, the people Kongo , led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the borders between present-day DRC, Angola and Gabon. Two centuries later, the Portuguese came into contact with the Kongo and converted their king to Christianity. Although monarchical, the Kongo political system had a democratic aspect because the king was actually placed at the head of the kingdom following an election held by a council of tribal governors. This king, also known as ntotela , controlled the appointment of court and provincial officials. The nganga, both healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation with the God called Nzambi through consecrated figures. The cultures Solongo Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by the kingdom Kongo from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious laughs through carved fetishes nkondo nkisi . The Yombe se are established on the west coast of Africa, in the southwestern Republic of Congo and in Angola.  

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Originex-collection espagnole
Material(s)wood, peau animale, plant fibre
Weight1.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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