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

Female Kuba figure (N° 20617)

Carved figure that would be associated with male initiation rites. The kneeling woman has geometric incisions that represent the traditional scarification of the group. The detailed face, skillfully modeled, is characteristic of Kuba productions. Black oiled patina. The extremely organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed a king or nyim at its center, inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group.
This one was considered to be of divine origin. At the same time chief of the kingdom and of the Bushoong chieftaincy, he was attributed supernatural virtues stemming from sorcery or from the ancestors. He was therefore responsible for the survival of his subjects, whether it was through the harvests, the rain or the birth of children. These magical attributes were not hereditary, however, as the king was elected by a council. The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for the higher ranks of their society. The Lele live in the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoong of Kuba country. Both groups decorate their prestige objects with similar motifs. Source: Kuba, ed. 5continents, Binkley and Darish.  

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Originex-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm28
Width8 cm
Weight0.55 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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