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Object Name: Kneeling female figure
Culture: Yombe peoples
Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Date/Era: 18th-19th century
Medium/Materials: Carved wood, traces of blood, traces of kaolin
Dimensions: H: 114.3 cm
Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA; Gift of Barbara and Joseph Goldenberg.
Accession Number: X2010.16.110
This work was used to reverse infertility in women and was one of the objects belonging to a women’s group dedicated to female health and well-being. Figures of this type depicted young mothers endowed with all the marks of Yombe beauty: elegant and prolific scarification patterns on the chest and the back, a tall conical prestige headdress, elegantly filed teeth, and a serene composure befitting the proud mother of an infant child.
Source: Gallery text, Fowler in Focus: Radiance and Resilience: Arts of Africa and the Americas from the Goldenberg Collection, 2011.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.