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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Tabwa Artist, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Female Figure, late nineteenth to early twentieth century, wood, beads, and string, Fred and Rita Richman Collection, 2002.313.

The African Art collection maintains distinction in art and cultural objects of various peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mali, with Nigeria and the Congo the most strongly represented in both quantity and range of media. Stone figures, metalworks, and a rich variety of masks crafted by Kongo, Yaka, Kuba, Pende, Luba, Bembe, and Ngbandi makers reference aristocracy and political figures, fertility and femininity. Sociohistorical confrontations with the Portuguese and Belgians are illustrated through works of adapted Christianity and religious syncretism.