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Creator Nationality: Africa, Zaire, Mbala, 20th century
Creator Name-CRT: Africa, Zaire, Mbala, 20th century
Title: Mother and Child Figure (wenyi)
Title Type: Primary
Creation Start Date: 1920
Creation End Date: 1930
Creation Date: before 1930
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: wood and beads
Dimensions: Overall: 53.4cm x 13.1cm x 14.6cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1931.426
Credit Line: Gift of the African Art Sponsors of Karamu House
Style or Period: Africa, Zaire, Mbala, 20th century
Context: A figure like this was part of an Mbala chief's treasury of sacred objects, displayed and invoked on important occasions such as succession ceremonies, collective hunts, wars, or judicial hearings. Since the Mbala are matrilineal, the mother and child figure symbolized not only the legitimacy of the chief, but also the supreme source of sacred authority of the female founder. The crested hairdo and filed teeth are Mbala expressions of status and beauty.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1931.426
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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