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Tribal art > African Statues > Mangbetu awale

Mangbetu awale (N° 20820)

The limbs of a female figure serve as feet for this ingeniously made awale type game from the mancalas family. The deck is hollowed out with twenty-four cells, arranged in four rows. Kernels, seeds, pebbles or even shells formed the counters. The object can be arranged vertically or horizontally. Oiled brown patina with reddish reflections. The figure wears body paintings and scarifications similar to those of the Asua pygmies with whom the tribe had relations, and which varied according to the circumstances. Among the Mangbetu, from a very young age, children were also subjected to a compression of the cranial cavity held tight by raffia ties.  Later, young women would "knit" their hair on wicker and apply a headband to the forehead to make the hair stand out and to create this particular headdress that accentuates the elongation of the head.  Established in the forest in northeastern Zaire, the Mangbetu kingdom produced architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, ornaments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality.  

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OriginCollection Caldwell - Jean-Emmanuel Voltz
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm14
Depth77 cm
Width32 cm
Weight5.10 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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