Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lega peoples, ca. early 20th century CE. A hand-carved wooden figurine used for ceremonial performances in order to teach moral values consistent with ideals held by those in the Bwami Society. The figure is composed of a tapering conical body with delineated arms, a narrow neck, and a spherical head, all atop an integral hemispherical plinth as well as an egg-shaped base with several filed slits for attaching to a headdress as an ornamental finial. The compressed face features concentric circle eyes, a slit-form mouth, and smooth peripheries, and lustrous red-brown patina enshrouds the entire carving. Size: 1.5" W x 4.6" H (3.8 cm x 11.7 cm).
Provenance: ex-Zemanek-Munster Tribal Art Auction (auction #303, part of lot 6788); collected in the 1960s by Andre Navez in Kivu province
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