African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Topoke statue

Topoke statue (N° 22256)

Ritual figure of the Topoke or Metoko from the banks of the Lomami, Isangi region in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The face offers large heart-shaped orbits in which the circular eyes are button-shaped, the nose wide and flat, the mouth revealing the dentition. The ears have been geometrically cut, accompanied by pierced lobes on which a ring remains. The trunk representing the bust bears female and male figures sculpted in high relief, probably associated with the primordial ancestors.

Glossy patina, abraded, desication cracks.

The Metoko and the Lengola, whose ritual sculptures are very similar, are peoples of the primary forest dedicated to the worship of a single God, a rare monotheism in Africa. Their society comprising three ranks, the Bukota, structured daily life and welcomed both men and women. It represents the equivalent of the Bwami association of the Lega. The sculptures played a role during initiation ceremonies, and were then placed on the tomb of high-ranking initiates. Kakungu in particular was surrounded by other sculpted objects, including figures of the Ntanda and Itea couple, related to initiation rites and circumcision. Each of these figures had a name, following the example of lega traditions.  

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Originex-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal
Height cm40
Width8 cm
Weight1.15 Kg

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