Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 16

Ngbaka female figure, DRC A cowrie-encrusted gaze,...

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Ngbaka female figure, DRC A cowrie-encrusted gaze, metal ornaments and a crested headdress adorn this female figure. This statue probably represents Nabo, a spirit that ensures fertility and the healing of children, and protects hunting and harvests. Most households worshipped this type of sculpture. It was also at the center of cult dances, accompanied or not by a figure embodying Seto. Dark patina with garnet highlights 56 x 14 cm ribu settled on the left bank of the Ubangui river, in north-western Congo, the Sudanese-speaking Ngbaka practice agriculture, and their artistic creations are inspired by those of neighboring tribes, with one distinctive feature: a forehead dotted with linear keloids. Young people are prepared for adult life through rituals called "gaza" and trained by ancient initiates, the bugaza. Their statues generally represent the primordial ancestors, Seto and his sister Nabo, and are installed on altars for propitiatory rites. They also produced objects for everyday use and anthropomorphic musical instruments.