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Tribal art > African Statues > Kongo

Kongo Yombe couple (N° 20540)

These naturalistic figures, carved at the direction of the nganga, priest-devin, feature a couple whose glazed eyes are associated with mediumistic abilities. The Kongo believed that they fostered these gifts through the intake of hallucinogenic plants.
Bright patina with touches of red pigment.
In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads between present-day DRC, Angola and Gabon. Two centuries later, the Portuguese made contact with the Kongo and converted their king to Christianity. Although monarchical, the Kongo political system had a democratic aspect because the king was actually placed at the head of the kingdom following an election held by a council of tribal governors. This king, also called ntotela, controlled the appointment of court and provincial officials. Belonging to the Kongo group, the Yombe are established on the West African coast, in the southwestern Republic of Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternities.  

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OriginColl. française Morice
EthnyKongo
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, verre, peau animale
Height25
Width16
Weight0.74 Kg
Estimated datingmid xxe

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