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Ancestor figure

Beembe (Kongo)

Artwork Details

Ancestor figure
circa 1870
Beembe (Kongo)
wood and porcelain chips
7 15/16 in x 3 1/8 in x 2 3/4 in (20.1 cm x 8 cm x 7 cm);7 15/16 in x 3 1/8 in x 2 3/4 in (20.1 cm x 8 cm x 7 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern

On Display

Not currently on display


Subject Matter:

The presence of the beard on the male figure supports the notion that this sculpture represents an ancestor (mukuya). Such figures were commissioned by elders who wished to be remembered after they had died. They were kept alongside other sculptures and regularly attended to by the heads of families. 

Physical Description:

This male standing figure is holding a weapon and has detailed scarifications on his chest and abdomen. The eyes are inserted porcelain chips and the figure shows a beard and an asymmetrical hairstyle. 

Usage Rights:

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