Pfemba Kongo maternity figure, DRC ex Zaire Kongo... - Lot 185 - Arthema Auction

Lot 185
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Estimation :
250 - 350 EUR
Pfemba Kongo maternity figure, DRC ex Zaire Kongo... - Lot 185 - Arthema Auction
Pfemba Kongo maternity figure, DRC ex Zaire Kongo tribal sculpture featuring a seated, cross-legged woman supporting a child. She embodies the clan ancestor, a mediating figure. The Yombe adorned their textiles, mats and loincloths, with rhombic motifs related to proverbs glorifying work and social unity, such as those scattered across her bust. The mouth shows traditionally filed teeth, and the eyes indicate the grandmother's ability to perceive the beyond, to discern hidden things. This type of statuette also adorned the top of prestige canes, mwala . Golden-brown satin patina. Cracks and abrasions 37 x 11 cm Belonging to the Kongo group, the Yombe are established on the West African coast, in the southwest of the Republic of Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes some remarkable maternity figures. Among the Kongo, the nganga performed rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was later used to designate the notions of "sacred" or "divine". The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" were instruments designed to help regional chiefs enforce the law. A metal object was nailed to a wooden figure as soon as a decision was taken, each nail evoking a particular case: disputing parties, divorce, conflicts between communities... The nkondi thus wanted to ensure that the agreement intended to settle the conflict was applied, and that individuals feared the consequences of their behavior. His appearance personified the force at work. From the second half of the 20th century, minkisi minkondi were strategically placed along the coast of the Loango kingdom to protect against European incursions. Among the most powerful, the Mangaaka was considered the "king" and "master", supreme arbiter of conflicts and protector of communities, and became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre. Source: "le geste Kongo" Ed. Musée Dapper and "Trésors d'Afrique" Musée de Tervuren.
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