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Lot n° 49

Zande ancestor figure, Azande, Sudan. The Zande...

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Zande ancestor figure, Azande, Sudan. The Zande carved a wide variety of ritual objects. The figure opposite is thought to represent the spirit of a female ancestor. There are similarities with Mangbetu sculpture. Frequent contact with the latter enabled their culture to spread among the Zande. Black oiled patina. 71 x 12 cm Once referred to as "Niam-Niam" because they were considered anthropophagous, the tribes grouped under the name Zande , Azandé , settled from Chad on the borders of the D.R.C. (Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two souls, one of which transforms on death into the animal-totem of the clan to which he belongs. Since the early 20th century, their sculptures have been linked to their secret society, the Mani , which exalts the importance of women. Their Yanda statuettes, exhibited during divination sessions in which the society leader smears them with paste and blows smoke on them, play an apotropaic role. They also used poison oracles in many circumstances. Litt. 100 People of Zaire and their sculpture" M.L. Félix.