|Title||Yaka Mbwoolo Fetish Doll Congo African Art Collection|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 19 Inches
Width: 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.|
Additional Information: The present day Yaka number approximately 300,000 and live along the Kwango River in the SW Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their neighbors are the Pende. They have a highly developed artistic sense---and they instill beauty and drama in even mundane objects. They are best known for the upturned noses found on initiation masks and diviner's fetishes, but their art can be abstract and vague as well. They sometimes create statues of considerable proportions. Though these normally are used by diviners and fall in the "fetish" category,M'bwoolo, they also carve large ancestor figures like the one offered here. It is possible that this figure had a divination purpose,because of the mirror presence in the abdomen and the added substances. There are many wonderful Yaka artworks pictured in scholarly texts and their masks and figures grace the finest museums and private collections.
You can see similar pieces and read about the Yaka in ART OF THE YAKA AND SUKU, by Arthur P. Bourgeois, 1984
From the Collection of Robert Pearson, Denver, Colorado
Bob Pearson began collecting African art later in his life. He was a n engineer, inveterate climber, and long-time collector of books and paintings. Spurred by the Douglas Society at the Denver Museum of Art, and his friendship with noted collector George Heggarty, he began building an enormous, eclectic collection. His African art library grew to several hundred books. He loved textiles and “material culture”-things which had domestic use, like spoons, cups, stools, and chairs, as well as masks and carvings. His collection included items from more than thirty African countries, and his fine eye gave him pieces ranging from a golddust scale to huge Dogon figural ladders. Africa Direct is honored to have been chosen to sell them.