Object Name: Seated male figure
Culture: Yombe peoples
Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Date/Era: Late 19th century
Medium/Materials: Wood and glass
Dimensions: H: 30.5 cm, W: 9.5 cm, D: 12.0 cm (H: 12.0 in, W: 3.7 in, D: 4.7 in)
Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.
Accession Number: X65.7498
This Yombe figure may have been made to commemorate family ancestors. The turned head, creating a perpendicular line in relation to the body, may allude to the idea of the dikenga line, which separates the world into two halves—that of the living and that of the dead. Gesture and pose are critical to the Yombe visual vocabulary and assist individuals as they cope with life’s contradictions.
Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.