Woman and Child

Woman and Child

mid- to late 1800s


Overall: 26.2 x 9.2 x 7.4 cm (10 5/16 x 3 5/8 x 2 15/16 in.)

Weight: 0.28 kg

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 2003.35



This mother-and-child figure was probably part of a cult concerned with the treatment of infertility. Both her jewelry and her seated pose indicate that the woman occupied a high rank in her community. Her miter-shaped hairstyle, chiseled teeth, and raised body scars--considered to be marks of beauty and perfection--signal that the woman incarnates the founding ancestor of a kinship group.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 

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