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Mother and Child Figure

African Art

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Mother and Child Figure

Artwork Details


Kongo Artist, Yombe Region, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, or Angola


Late nineteenth–early twentieth century


Wood, brass tacks, and glass

Accession #



12 3/4 × 4 1/4 × 4 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 401


This sculpture was made to be used within the context of Mpemba, an organization concerned with fertility and the treatment of infertility, founded by a famous Kongo midwife. The female figure’s studded cap, chiseled teeth, and scarification indicate her aristocratic status. Both the brass tacks and the glass eyes were imported. The light-reflecting glass was associated with an ability to see into invisible spiritual and ancestral realms.


Fred and Rita Richman Collection