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HOME : African & Tribal Art : AS.On Loan : Kuba Wooden Sculpture of a Mother and Child
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Kuba Wooden Sculpture of a Mother and Child - PF.6305
Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 16.875" (42.9cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Wood

Additional Information: AS

Location: UAE
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The Kuba tribe are famed for their cephalomorphic (head-shaped) palm wine cups, marked by their distinctive hairstyle, characterized by a well-defined point along the temples. On the heads of the mother and child of this stunning maternity sculpture, we can easily recognize their similarities. Here, a kneeling mother carries her child who holds on to her tightly. The child’s hands, with clearly defined fingers and nails, rest under her arms, along her breasts. The mother’s flat, sagging breast reinforce her fecundity. She wears a woven skirt with a decorative diamond pattern. Apart from their wine cups, the Kuba are also celebrated for their textiles. This skirt clearly reflects the geometric patterns that characterize these clothes. Maternity figures are among the most prevalent and endearing forms of art in Africa. In a world of uncertain futures, where the spirits of deceased relatives play an active part in the daily lives of their ancestors, such sculpture could provide security and sooth worried souls. A hopeful mother may have honored this work with libations in order to coerce the spirits to help her conceive. An expecting mother may have prayed to this work in order to ensure a healthy birth. More than simply a beautiful sculpture, this work had the ability to influence the spirit world and in turn, determine our future. - (PF.6305)


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