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Mangbetu or Azande Clay Female Bust African Art

Product #: 91023
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Title Mangbetu or Azande Clay Female Bust African Art
Type of Object Pottery or ceramic 
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Mangbetu or Azande
Materials Clay
Approximate Age probably second half 20th century
Dimensions 12 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.     
Damage/Repair General wear, indigenous repair in places, dents, bad chip in head, hear

Additional Information: The pot head shows Mangbetu style rather than Azande. The hairstyle is most likely Mangbetu.

The Azande and Mangbetu peoples live in the Northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in the region of savanna and forest. They are organized into several small states and had multitude of cults and associations based on the spiritual believes. Pots like this one are used as a container for offerings, water and ritual beverages and local wine and beer. But, most of the wooden and ivory sculptures are secular. They belong to the royal and aristocratic families. Women have a distinctive head shape, resulting from binding of the head. This feature is found in most of their female representations. Elaborate jar like this would have been used as a prestigious object rather than an everyday vessel.

See Evan Maurer & Niangi Batulukisi & , Spirits Embodied Art of the Congo, 1999, pp. 140-145