Carved from dense, heavy wood, on offer from our personal collection is this seated maternity figure from the Bakongo peoples of the DR Congo. Sculptors from the DR Congo region are renowned for their artistry, & their carvings are highly prized.
Classic features enhance the inherent dignity of this sculpture, such as the figure's outlined & inset eyes, & open mouth bearing prominent teeth. Her necklace, plus breast, arm, & wrist bands indicate that she is from a royal or other important tribal family. Scarifications accent her chest & shoulders, & an incised, patterned headdress adorns the top of head. Her face bears a rich, mahogany-hued finish. Profound symbolism is found in the infant she holds in her lap...as the child is depicted not suckling either of its mother's well-formed breasts, this indicates that the baby has died or may have been still-born. Cradling her lifeless child, the proud mother, seated with legs crossed, cries out prayerfully, hoping for fertility & for the chance of giving birth to a healthy baby.
Overall condition: despite a few imperfections in the wood, including evidence of old insect damage (arrested), dry age-cracks, & minor chips, scrapes & abrasions, the sculpture is in good overall condition, & has developed a wonderful old patina. Dramatic display.