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Hemba Ancestor Figure Congo African Art 29 Inch

Regular Price: $490.00

Special Price: $92.00

Product #: 79073
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Title Hemba Ancestor Figure Congo African Art 29 Inch
Type of Object Memorial Figure
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Hemba
Materials Wood
Approximate Age Second half 20th Century
Dimensions 29.25 inches H. x 11.25 inches W.
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair Chips, scratches, in places


Additional Information:  A large Hemba standing male figure representing a chief holding a staff and a ceremonial knife. The figure is well-carved with a rounded face characterized by classic Hemba features including almond eyes in a large depression, an aquiline nose, a mouth with projected lips showing elegance and pride, and a carved beard . The beard determines that the figure is a representation of an elder.


The most common of the Hemba ancestor figures are called "singitis" . Much rarer are the warrior figures, like the stunning example presented here. The "Fumu Mwalo" would consult these warrior figures, and also make blood sacrifices to them, pouringthe blood--usually from a chicken-- over the statue. This would result in a thick, encrusted patinaThe Hemba number around 80,000 and live on the right bank of the Lualaba River west of Lake Tanganyika. They have been heavily influenced by their neighbors to the south, the Luba. It iso nly in the last quarter century that their art has been identified as distinct from that of the Luba. Thus, many masterpieces in museums and famous collections have had to be reclassified.The Hemba are divided into large clans headed by a hereditary leader known as the "Fumu Mwalo," who administers justice and watches over the ancestor figures.


For more information on the Hemba, as well as a picture of a rare warrior figure, see Neyt F,. La Grande Statuaire Hemba du Zaire., Louvain-La-Neuve


I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD