African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Shoowa statuette
Shoowa statuette (N° 20759)
This shoowa statuette is a naturalistic figure of a kneeling woman holding a container.
A very delicate work combining symmetrical and harmonious proportions.
Smooth, glossy, black-brown patina.
The Shoowa settled within the Kuba kingdom and gradually adopted certain traditions. Organized in a matrilineal society, the Shoowa are above all skilled weavers, renowned for their raffia textiles which they export to neighboring groups. But they are also potters and engravers.
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The Kuba and the tribes settled between the Sankuru and Kasai rivers, including the Bushoong and Dengese also from the Mongo group, are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the higher ranks of their society.
The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong who are still ruled by a king today. It is the most prolific group in western Kasai. Ritual ceremonies remained an opportunity to display decorative arts and masks to honor the spirit of the deceased or to honor the king. Most of these masks embody nature spirits, guarantors of fertility and fecundity, named the ngesh .
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