African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Beembé figure

Beembé Fly-Hunting Channel (N° 19160)

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.

Small, meticulously sculpted figure, with large digitized hands placed in front of the bust, and under which a pastille indicates the umbilicus. The legs are fleshy, tight, and half bent. The face with stylized features appears meditative. Satin patina with granular residual incrustations. Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo (formerly Brazzaville), and not to be confused with the Bembé group north of Lake Tanganinyika, the small group Babembé, Béembé, was influenced by the Teke rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongo. Settled in the current Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of the Kongo, with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. They were under the tutelage of the king ntotela elected by the governors. The trade in ivory, copper and slaves constituted the main resources of this group, which was little known until colonization, and the head of the village, nga-bula, was in charge of interceding with the ancestors. Hunting being a major activity, the ancestors were invoked through statuettes. These idealized representations of ancestors, kitebi or bimbi consecrated by the sorcerer, bore the attributes of hunters or healers. Some of them, like the Bakongo, were magical objects with nails and were equipped with holes (sometimes the anal cavity) into which medicines, or ancestor relics, were introduced.  

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Origincollection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm22
Width5 cm
Weight0.15 Kg
Socle includedYes

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