Lot: 255

Rare female bowl-bearing figure "kabila mboko", 2nd half 19th century

D. R. Congo, Kanyok

Provenance Size Hammer price
Christian Duponcheel, Pietrebais, Belgium (1971)
Alex Vömel, Düsseldorf, Germany (1972)
German Private Collection
H: 15.2 inch;
L: ca. 9.8 inch
7000 EUR

wood, base The Kanyok (also called Bena Kanioka) live in the central south of Zaire, in the Kasai-Oriental region, between the rivers Bushimaie and Luembe. The forms and style of their sculptural art are strongly influenced by the neighbouring Luba. The motif of the female bowl bearer "mboko" is one of several important sculptural genres found throughout the wider area of Luba influence. The "mboko" fulfills several functions that differ within the Luba region, but are generally always in the context of fortune-telling and healing. For example, it was an important task of the bowl to absorb the white kaolin clay ("mpemba"), which was mixed with medicinal herbs and used for spiritual and healing purposes.


Düsseldorf, Germany, Galerie Vömel: Traditionelle Kunst aus Schwarz-Afrika, 1. - 31. Mai 1972

ADHRC: 0017706