African Art: a prestigious Swiss collection

Milan, Wednesday 14 October 2020


Hemba (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Hardwood with a crusted coating
H 34 cm
Magic two-faced figure.
South-eastern region of the Congo, marked by the courses of the rivers Lualaba and Lomami.
This is a Janus figure, which has a magical and religious character. Its original name was Kabeja.It represents a combination of characters sculpted back-to-back. One is male (with a beard) and one is female, and they are depicted in a symmetrical position standing on a circular base.


€ 6.000 - 8.000

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- Former Paolo Morigi collection (Lugano) (Morigi inventory label num. 385);
- Former private collection (Lugano);


- NEYT FRANCOIS & DE STRYCKER LOUIS "Approche des arts Hemba" Villiers-le Bel, France 1975 pages 38 - 40;

This object was used during rituals; magic substances were inserted into the small hole at the top of its hair.These sculptures, common among the Luba, Hemba and Tabwa people, belonged to the head of the family and were associated with the worship of ancestors. Their function was to protect the couple against sterility, to protect their children from illnesses, and to find a husband for their young children to marry among other things.


African Art

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