The substances contained in its cloth-covered cranial cavity indicate that this half-figure belongs to the broad category of charms or “power objects” that the Luba call mankishi. It was used by a ritual expert and functioned in a variety of rituals dealing with healing, protection, divination, or jurisdiction. Often such power figures were carved by the ritual experts rather than by professional artists.
late 1800s-early 1900s
Africa, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Luba-style maker
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