Lot: 312

99th Auction

Standing female figure

D. R. Congo, Kuyu

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Robert van der Heijden, Amsterdam, The Netherlands H: 20.9 inch 1000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, colour pigments, rest., base

According to various articles published by the French colonial administrator Poupon in 1918-19, the Kuyu were divided into two groups: the Western Kuyu, who considered themselves descendants of the panther, and the Eastern Kuyu, who worshipped the serpent "djo" as their mythical ancestor.

Poupon described the different phases of the "djo" ceremonies that incorporate numerous figures. These rites brought together several villages, with initiates assembled hierarchically in a vast clearing. Performances alternated between mimed sequences and dances involving carved figures.


Anne-Marie Bénézech, "So-called Kuyu Carvings", in: African Arts, November 1988, Vol. XXII, No 1, p. 52-59 Anne-Marie Bénézech, "The deferred Discovery of Kuyu Art, in: Tribal Art Magazine, No 83, Spring 2017, p. 92-107