X78.1719 Female figure with child

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Female figure with child (mbulenga)
Lulua peoples
Democratic Republic of the Congo
19th century
Wood, pins, camwood
H: 16.5 cm, D: 3.2 cm (H: 6.5 in, D: 1.3 in)
Gift of Lee and Dona Bronson. X78.1719


Among Lulua peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, figures like this one are used to bring beauty and good luck to their owners, and many are used to promote fertility in women. The surface of the figure incorporates camwood, a cosmetic used for beautification by peoples of this region.