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Kuyu Female Scarification Turning Head Congo 52 Inch Africa

Regular Price: $1,250.00

Special Price: $625.00

Product #: 100168
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Title Kuyu Female Scarification Turning Head Congo 52 Inch Africa
Type of Object Figure
Country of Origin Republic of Congo
People Kuyu
Materials Wood and Pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 52.5 Inches x Wide: 10 inches depth: 6.5 inches.
Overall Condition Fair : Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Cracks and chips in places, scrapes and worn pigment


Additional Information: This extraordinary carving comes from the Kuyu people who live between the Sangha and upper Ogowe Rivers. Most Kuyu figures have more than one face painted in white. This particular carving has a head that rotates some left to right.  It cannot be easily removed.  The subject has an intensely scarred face and abdomen, with complex patterns and symbols.  The body is painted in red pigments of several varying layers.  This is a wonderful figure that will hold a prominent place in a collection.


The most prominent sculptures known from the Kuyu are the carved wooden headpieces that were carried high above a dancer’s head that had long flowing gowns attached to the lines of holes at the bottom of the neck. Colorful sculpted figure’s or stylized heads placed on posts are found in a men’s secret initiation society known as Ottote, in the past associated with chieftaincy. These brightly painted headpieces danced in a ceremony known as kibe-kibe, dramatizing a creation myth during ceremonies for young initiates.


Recommended Reading:


Nicklin, K. "Kuyu Sculpture at the Powell-Cotton Museum", in African Arts, XVII, 1. 1983.


Kerchache, J (ed.)., Art of Africa, 1988