late 1800s-early 1900s
Wood, possibly ceramic, and copper alloy
Overall: 17 x 5.8 x 4.2 cm (6 11/16 x 2 5/16 x 1 5/8 in.)
René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.429
The carvings in the figure’s abdomen reflect the custom of body scarification among the Beembe people.
Beembe figurines generally have greatly detailed anatomical and decorative features. The scarification among Beembe men and women communicated their ideas about local beauty and ethnic belonging. These figures are charged with an ancestor’s spirit through a mixture of resin and human-derived ingredients—taken from the corpse of the person they possibly portray—into a small cavity near the rectum.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.