- 19th–20th century
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Mangbetu peoples
- H. 8 3/16 x W. 6 1/4 x D. 6 1/4 in. (20.8 x 15.9 x 15.9 cm)
- Credit Line:
- The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979
- Accession Number:
During the second half of the nineteenth century, when the kingdom was most powerful, Mangbetu aristocrats surrounded themselves with a wide variety of finely crafted utilitarian objects--boxes, jars, stools, musical instruments, and weapons. A distinctive tradition of anthropomorphic sculpture associated with Mangbetu culture developed about 1900. Although such forms predate the colonial presence, European patrons greatly expanded the demand for them. These works show the elaborate reed-reinforced coiffures and elongated heads once common among the Mangbetu, who in the past shaped infants' skulls by gentle pressure.