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Male Figure of a Pair

Male Figure of a Pair

late 1800s-early 1900s

Part of a set. See all parts

Wood, copper, glass beads, iron, fabric

Overall: 45 x 15.5 x 9.2 cm (17 11/16 x 6 1/8 x 3 5/8 in.)

René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.459.1

Fun Fact

Odette Delenne, the collector of this pair, once stated that these figures reminded her of herself and her husband, René.

Description

Although this pair has been attributed to the Ngbandi, many of the style characteristics identified as typical of that culture are in fact shared with its neighbors the Ngbaka-Minagende, among others. Carving of paired figures is quite well documented among the Ngbaka-Minagende, where such sculptures are said to represent the mythical ancestor Seto and his sister-wife, Nabo. But field-based research cannot confirm the existence of figurative couples among the Ngbandi. Were all such Ngbandi-style couples created by Ngbandi artists for a neighboring Ngbaka-Minagende community or another Ubangi group? Or do they instead refer to a more localized tradition that was never documented by foreign observers?

See also

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