Male Figure (Singiti)

A work made of wood and pigment.

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  • A work made of wood and pigment.

Date:

Mid–19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Hemba
Kongolo region, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Central Africa

About this artwork

This idealized portrait commemorated and honored the lifetime accomplishments of a deceased male ancestor. With its serene expression, fine beard, high forehead, and elaborate cross-shaped hairstyle, the figure embodies the composure, status, and wisdom of a respected elder. As a spiritual mediator between the living and the dead, it was preserved with other such objects in a shrine where it linked the present ruler with his predecessor and underscored the legitimacy of his authority.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Hemba

Title

Male Figure (Singiti)

Origin

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Date

1850–1925

Medium

Wood and pigment

Dimensions

H. 70.9 cm (27 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Ada Turnbull Hertle Fund

Reference Number

1972.453

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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