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.
- Mother and Child Figure (Bwanga bwa Chibola)
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Wood and pigment
- 28.9 × 8.6 × 8.2 cm (11 3/8 × 3 3/8 × 3 1/4 in.)
- Wirt D. Walker Fund