|Title||Buyu Figure Miniature Male with Base Congo African Art|
|Type of Object||Ancestor figure, statue, carving.|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|People||Buyu (Boyo, Buye)|
|Approximate Age||20th Century|
|Dimensions||Height: 11.75 Inches
Width: 2.5 Inches
Depth: 2 Inches
13.5 inches tall on base; base is 3.5 inches square
|Overall Condition||fair to good|
|Damage/Repair||some cracks, chips|
Additional Information: A Buyu ancestor figure in miniature with a custom base. 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.
This carving would be great as a stand alone piece or as part of a collection.
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.