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African art - Mbala:

Male figure Mbala
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Mbala

Carved from a rather light wood whose velvety patina adopts a grey hue, this masculine figure was part of a couple used by the nganga during therapeutic rituals. Long desication cracks.
as from Angola in the 17th century, the Mbala settled in northwestern Zaire and east among the Pelende, Suku, Pende, and Yaka. Once matrilineal, they are made up of clans led by the maternal uncle. The chief was in charge of the worship of ancestors, however quite limited.
Ref.: African Art Ed. Mazenod;  " Treasures of Africa (p.309) ed. Tervuren Museum; Tribal art from black Africa. JB Bacquart;  " Umbangu, Art of Congo at the Royal Belgian Museum of Congo Ed. Cultura.

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Drummer figure Mbala Pindi
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mbala Statue

This type of object was a sacred symbol of authority (Pindi).  The musician's hairstyle shares great similarities with the headdress mukote who, among the Western Pende with whom the Mbala shared the circumcision rituals mukanda , became a symbol of the struggle against colonization in the early 20th century. century ("Congo Masks", ed. M.L. Félix, p.114)
This figure of musician, mbundi-ngoma , accompanied by a figure of motherhood , was part of the pair of emblematic sculptures pindi attributed to the leader Mbala at his induction. After a retreat of a few days, the royal insignia and charms were attributed to him, intended to fight the powers opposing hunting, social peace, and harvests. Desication crack. Indigenous restoration using copper. Locally powdered satin patina.

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