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Mbulenga (Maternity Figure)

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unknown Lulua

Mbulenga (Maternity Figure)

19th century - 20th century
Carved and incised wood with patina

11.811 x 2.953 x 2.756 in. (30 x 7.5 x 7 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.132
Other Number(s): 115 (257) (Neufeld Collection Number)
257 (Sotheby's Lot Number)
Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Lulua, Congolese, Central African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
  • Central African - Styles and cultures from a wide region of Africa that straddles the Equator and is drained largely by the Congo River system.
  • Congolese - Nationality, styles, and cultures of the Republic of the Congo.
  • figures - Representations of humans, animals, or mythical beasts, in any medium.
  • Lulua
  • maternity - State of being a mother; also the qualities belonging to or associated with being a mother or being pregnant.
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/20/1996

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Figure Number: 257
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0181339.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Constantine Petridis, "A Figure for Cibola: Art, Politics, and Aesthetics among the Luluwa People of the Democratic Republic of the Congo." Metropolitan Museum Journal 36 (2001): 235-258.
  • Constantine Petridis, "Of Mothers and Sorcerers: A Luluwa Maternity Figure." Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 23, no. 2 (1997): 182-195, 198-200.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Mbulenga (Maternity Figure) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=12/9/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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