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Yombe Female Holding Cup and Gourd Congo African Art

$390.00
Product #: 91573
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Title Yombe Female Holding Cup and Gourd Congo African Art
Type of Object carving, figure
Country of Origin DR Congo
People Yombe
Materials wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 24.5 inchesĀ  x 8 inches
Overall Condition Fair . 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 repaired arm, several cracks and chips in places, crcked, broken foot, age cracks


Additional Information: Figure of woman sitting on a cylindrcal stool , holding a cup in one hand and a calabash in the other hand. She is wearing hat Mpwu recalling these prestige hats wore by important members of the community. 


Such figures are  found among a number of peoples of the greater region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo but most probably identified to the Yombe people. Figures among the Kongo and other people of the greater Kongo sub-groupings fall generally into a number of identifiable categories whose interpretation can vary and cross over as to function and meaning. Some figures represent elites and royals while the predominate number serve as power figures that would have magical materials attached or covered with the familiar metal objects beaten into their surfaces which led to their being identified as ‘nail fetishes’.   the sublime serenity of her expression creates a mysterious visual atmosphere and does establish an ‘otherworldly’ quality.


Female figure represents the maternal ancestor taking care of her descendants.This commemorative figure would have been used to honor the maternal spirit who brings prosperity and fertility. Among the Kongo people, woman is considered as the chief of the family. Thus, female ancestor is the guarantor of the fecundity and continuity of the clan or family. Such sculptures would be kept on a family or local shrine where she would be receiving sacrifices and offerings.


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