|Title||Mbaka Miniature Figure Congo African Art|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|People||Mbaka, Ngbaka or Ngbandi|
|Approximate Age||Late 20th Century|
|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.|
Additional Information: This figure comes from the culturally dynamic northwestern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo along the river systems feeding the great Congo River, especially from the Ngbaka or Ngbandi. This is a figure with painted features on the body, and a serene face typical of the Ngbaka-Ngbandi style.
The Ngbaka moved into the area inhabited by the Ngbandi in an area bounded by the Ubangi and Lualaba River systems and as a result both groups share sculpture forms and the details of scarification that often leads to some confusion as to the attribution of their sculpture. Ngbaka use anthropomorphic figures, generally in pairs, to represent mythological and distant family founders known as Seto a male and Nabo his wife that are kept on family shrines. Ngbaka figures take their red color from being washed in palm oil and red tukula powder made from tree bark. The facial features are divided by a vertical line of scarification that in other figures extends onto the lower body. The shaping of the details of the body are truly a study and sculptural inventiveness.
Burssens, H. Les Peuplades de l'Entre Congo-Ubangi (Ngbandi,Ngbaka, Mbandj, Ngombe, et gens d eau). 1958.Burssens, H. Sculptures in the Ngbandi Style . Kongo Overzee. 1958.Cornet, J. Art of Africa. 1971.Maes, J., Les Ngbaka. 1984.