A KUYU HEAD

Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa

Collected by Missionaires Rédemptoristes between 1890-1910

Wood, 45 cm

The Kuyu and Mbochi in the Congo (Brazzaville) carry full figures and heads in dances called kebe-kebe.  The ceremonies at which these objects appear honor the snake-god and creator Djo.  Figures representing the primordial ancestors, Ebotita the mother and Joku the father, and heads representing man and the promise of progeny appear together.

This head was held in both hands high above the dancer’s head, with a heavy raffia cloth costume bound around the deep notch in the handle, to produce the effect of an extraordinarily tall, sinuous being.

Price on request.