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Buyu (Boyo) Male Miniature Square Shoulders Congo African Art

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Title Buyu (Boyo) Male Miniature Square Shoulders Congo African Art
Type of Object Ancestor figure, statue, carving.
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People likely Buyu
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th Century
Height (in) 12
Width (in) 4.75
Depth (in) 3
Dimensions Height: 12 Inches
Width: 4.75 Inches
Depth: 3 Inches
13.5 tall on base; 4.5 x 3.75 inch base
Overall Condition fair
Damage/Repair cracks, scrapes, dirty surface

Additional Information: This figure, with scquare shoulders and scarified belly, exhibits a uniqe character. A Buyu Ancestor Figure; this elaborately carved figure comes from the region between the Luluaba River and lake Tanganyika an area of great historical, religious and artistic complexity. Reflecting this cultural complexity the Boyo are compromised of six distinct but related clans that share similar shapes but retain individual styles of art. This figure is attributed to the greater Buyu (or Basumba) style but can have an origin within a clan as yet undefined, perhaps from either the Hanga or Sumba (Basumba). Representing an honored chief such figures were kept on an altar in a shrine where they would be covered with a cloth around the shoulders and the lower abdomen. These figures were honored and left offerings of food and drink. As an ancestor the figure served as a point of contact with the heroic chiefs of the past to comfort and direct a supplicant s life. The scarification patterns on the face and abdomen are those of an ancestor that the figure represented.

Recommended Reading: De Kun, N., L Art Boyo , Africa-Tervuren, 26, 1979.Biebuyck, D. Statuary from the Pre-Bembe Hunters; Tervuren Royal Museum of Central Africa,1981.Neyt, F. Arts Traditionnels et histoire du Zaire, 1981.

CT 8/17