Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Zande Standing Female Figure Congo African Art

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Title Zande Standing Female Figure Congo African Art
Type of Object Sculpture, Carving, figure
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Zande Azande
Materials Wood
Approximate Age Second half 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 34 Inches
Width: 7.5 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.
Damage/Repair N/A

Additional Information: A standing female with arms at her side, this carving exemplifies Azande carving style with the elongated torso and short legs. Her belly button portrudes, indicating her fertility. Her round and robust coiffure is also indicative of the hand of a talented Azande carver. Among the Azande (Zande) figures like this are known as Yanda, served to represent ancestral or protective spirits who looked over the members of an Azande cult known as Mani (This cult was also shared by close neighbors the Mangbetu).

The Mani cult enrolled women and men and worked to assure health and to secure wealth and prosperity for the cult member. These charming figures takes their color from the magical application of roots, plants, bark and seeds called Libele by the Azande. Local scarification patterns worn by the people are also carved onto the face and thighs and genitals of the figure.

Zande sculpture was also thought to be related to that of their neighbors the Mangbetu, Ngbaka, and the Ngbandi. These highly abstracted figures are today not common as most were thought to be made during the first third of the 20th Century.

Recommended Reading:

E.E. Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft Oracles and Magic Among The Azande, 1937, 1950, 1959, Oxford at the Clarendon Press