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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: Congolese
Creator Dates/Places: Congolese
Creator Active Place: Congolese
Creator Name-CRT: Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kasadi region, Kongo People, Yombe sub-tribe
Title: Mother and Child
Title Type: Primary
Creation Start Date: 1866
Creation End Date: 1933
Creation Date: late 19th-early 20th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: carved and painted wood
Dimensions: Overall: 64.7cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1997.149
Credit Line: Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund
Context: The Kongo people inhabit a large territory now divided among the nations of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cabinda, and Angola. The Yombe, one of the many Kongo ethnic groups, possess a distinctive artistic tradition that encompasses scepters, trumpets, fly whisks, masks, and human figures. The mother and child theme is a common one in Yombe carving; this example is distinguished by the emotionally powerful, yet enigmatic expression of the mother's gaunt face. The large size and soft wood of this sculpture indicate a funerary function and placement within a roofed ancestral shrine. The Yombe woman represented was clearly powerful; perhaps her fertility was critical to the survival and prosperity of her clan. The sculpture may have been carved in honor of the woman herself after her death, or after the death of a male chief. Kongo society is matrilineal, so the chief's right to political power is inherited through the female line.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1997.149
AMICA Library Year: 1998
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