African Art | Works from the Swiss collection of Walter Schwab
Wednesday 13 October 2021 • Milan
Wood with a dark patina, Local name: Ngbirondo.
Sculpture with a strong abstract structure, where a triangular prism head is supported by a cylindrical body depicted with all anatomical features. The arms, extended away from the body, are very long, as opposed to the legs which are shorter. The eyes are small glass beads. The entire figure is decorated with a series of zigzag engravings. The shape of the triangular face, marked by parallel lines carved on the brow and the cheeks, is a common characteristic of this group’s sculptures. The statues were placed in a small hut at the entrance to villages. They represented the spirit Ngbirondo who, according to villagers’ beliefs, protected the villages. They were also used as diviners during clairvoyance ceremonies.
BACQUART JEAN-BAPTISTE, The Tribal Arts of Africa, Londra 1998, pag. 142 (916);