A sculpted miniature of the Kongo, this female effigy embodies the ancestor of the clan, a mediating figure. The child would embody the matrilineal transmission of power. The Yombe adorned their textiles, mats and loincloths, with lozenges related to proverbs glorifying work and social unity. These effigies frequently formed the carved pattern atop chiefs' canes. Glossy dark brown patina.
A clan of the Kongo group, the Yombe are established on the west coast of Africa, in the south-west of the Republic of Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternities. The use of this type of sculpture remains unknown.
Among the Kongo , the nganga was responsible for the rituals by activating a spiritual force with an nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to designate the notions of "sacred" or "divine". The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to help regional chiefs enforce the law. Source: "the Kongo gesture" Ed. Dapper Museum and "Treasures of Africa" Museum of Tervuren; "The Soul of Africa" s.Diakonoff.
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