Mother and Child Figure (Bwanga bwa Chibola)

A work made of wood and pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood and pigment.

Date:

Mid–/late 19th century

Artist:

Luluwa
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Central Africa

About this artwork

This delicate rendering of a mother holding her newborn child celebrates human fertility. The figure’s coiffure, loincloth, and belt indicate membership in an organization dedicated to helping women with childbirth and the prevention of infant mortality. Scarification patterns further embellish the figure, reflecting her inner goodness through outer adornment. Many of the patterns also have other meanings—for instance, the line on her forehead symbolizes life, specifically that of a mother and the child growing in her womb. The projection below the figure’s feet probably allowed it to be placed in the ground during rituals.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Luluwa

Title

Mother and Child Figure (Bwanga bwa Chibola)

Origin

Democratic Republic of Congo

Date

1850–1899

Medium

Wood and pigment

Dimensions

28.9 × 8.6 × 8.2 cm (11 3/8 × 3 3/8 × 3 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Wirt D. Walker Fund

Reference Number

1993.354

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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