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Mother and Child Figure

African Art

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Mother and Child Figure

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Kongo Artist, Yombe Region, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, or Angola

Date

Late nineteenth–early twentieth century

Medium

Wood, brass tacks, and glass

Accession #

2002.293

Dimensions

12 3/4 × 4 1/4 × 4 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 401

Description

This sculpture was made to be used within the context of Mpemba, an organization concerned with fertility and the treatment of infertility, founded by a famous Kongo midwife. The female figure’s studded cap, chiseled teeth, and scarification indicate her aristocratic status. Both the brass tacks and the glass eyes were imported. The light-reflecting glass was associated with an ability to see into invisible spiritual and ancestral realms.

Credit

Fred and Rita Richman Collection