End XIXTh , early XXth - Female Figure hands missing - Provenance Paolo Morigi
Bembe Figure (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Female Figure hands missing. End XIXTh , early XXth. Provenance Paolo Morigi.
Wood, white paint.
Height: 18 cm. with a stand.
Much Bembe wood sculpture was made to enable people to maintain contact with their ancestors. This figures has the entire torso-abdomen area covered with carefully rendered raised scarification patterns. Early photographs indicate that many of the peoples in the greater Congo watershed had extraordinarily complex raised cicatrix patterns over much of the upper body.
"When these religious sculptures have been sanctified they can be used in healing or to designate a ndoki (witch). They are believed to contain the spirit of an ancestor…
The sculpture is kept by the owner who can employ its assistance when he makes communication with an ancestor, such as his father" (Bertil Söderberg in Suzanne Greub, ed. Expressions of Belief. http://amzn.to/2e7QHPK . 1988). This figure has the anal orifice in which sanctifying magical materials would be placed. Both hands are missing.
Paolo Morigi, a Swiss citizen of Italian origin, nurtured a passion for African art for more than forty years.
Free delivery, free description. From David Norden's collection, Antwerp, Belgium
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