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Mangbetu Olifant in ivory (N° 21031)

Mangbetu African tribal art, court art, was intended for the aristocracy of the society: this sculpted tusk, probably a hunting horn whose tip takes the form of a female figure, obeys the Mangbetu stylistic canon. Established in the forest in northeastern Zaire, between Bomokandi and the Uele River, the Mangbetu kingdom expressed itself through architectural works that fascinated European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, ornaments, pottery and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality. Mangbetu history was indeed based on the refinement of its court but also on cannibal customs. King Mangbetu "Munza" was nicknamed "the cannibal king". The ethnologist G.A. Schweinfurth in 1870 described the refinement, while testifying at the same time to ritual murders and human sacrifices practiced by "the people of the elongated heads", to indicate this characteristic deformation of the cranial cavity obtained from a compression, from a very young age. Several groups established south of the Uele were placed under the authority of the Mangbetu kingdom from 1820 onwards: Bangaba, Makere, Mamvu, etc... A profusion of prestige objects, as well as utilitarian objects, were produced for the dignitaries.  

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OriginEx. collection Mercier
EthnyMangbetu
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height65
Width7
Weight1.06 Kg
Socle includedYes

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