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Yombe Ancestor Figure Squatting Congo African Art

Regular Price: $175.00

Special Price: $98.00

Product #: 112825
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Title Yombe Ancestor Figure Squatting Congo African Art
Type of Object Carving, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of the Congo
People Yombe
Materials Wood, pigment, plastic
Approximate Age 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 12 Inches
Width: 5 Inches
Depth: 4.5 Inches
Overall Condition Good. 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 one eye shrouded with plastic (intentionally?). cracked base, worn surfaces

Additional Information: A figure sitting on a circular base with one hand resting under the chin. The figure is identified with the Yombe people who live in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Yombe figures are some of the most familiar of Congo/Zaire art. Male figures are rare.  Yombe figures of this category were prescribed  by a "nganga" or a healer, Their purposes are to protect someone from witchcraft, bad luck, or for any number of personal reasons. Many of them are used to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown, and to  ease everyday tensions.

The historical roots of the Kongo group, and their great king "Ne Kongo," can be traced back to the 13th century. Without much competition, they expanded steadily until they controlled a vast part of West Central Africa, including most of present day Angola, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo. The arrival of the Portuguese and their missionaries in the 16th century ended their expansion, especially southward. The Kongo were also one of the major sources of slaves to the New World. Today, though greatly diminished, the approximately three million Kongo can still be found in Angola, DRCongo and the Republic of Congo. Kongo statuary is justifiably famous, and falls into three categories: the power figures, known as "nkondi nkisi" are the most recognized, as they can be enormously impressive and complex, with mirrors, nails, blades, feathers, and any number of other additives placed upon an already dramatic wooden statue.  Also famous and quite common are the mother and child figures. Carved for obvious reasons, they are often of great beauty. The figures and masks from this group can be very difficult to tell apart, as they share multiple stylistic similarities.The most common theme is that of the Mother and child figure (Phemba). Among the Yombe Phemba figure represents the female ancestor who takes care of her descendants. She is used as a commemorative figure and would have been used to honor the maternal spirit who brings prosperity and fertility.