Lot: 470

82nd Tribal Art Auction

Janiform magical figure "kabeja"

D. R. Congo, Hemba

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
H: 9.4 inch 3000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, partly encrusted blackish brown patina, remains of pigment, male and female figure, arranged back to back, superstructure with remains of magical substances, slightly dam. (facial features), missing parts through insect caused damage (left leg of the male figure/base), custom mount; "kabeja" figures are seen as visual icon of the primordial couple, the founders of the society. They are owned by the clan head known as the "fumu mwela". "Kabeja" figures are presented at clan meetings led by the chief. They were used by individuals for multiple purposes: to ensure good relationship with primordial ancestors, to bring fertility and to protect against evil forces.