Figurine: Three Males

Date: 18th–20th century

Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Loango Region

Culture: Kongo peoples

Medium: Ivory

Dimensions: H. 3 1/4 x W. 1 3/8 x D. 15/16 in. (8.3 x 3.5 x 2.4 cm)

Classification: Bone/Ivory-Sculpture

Credit Line: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1964

Accession Number: 1978.412.348


Souvenir ivories from the Loango Coast of west-central Africa were created in many forms. Among them were full elephant tusks carved in relief with multiple scenes, relief-carved plaques, and figurines such as this example. Carved onto the convex portion of an elephant's tusk, this figurine portrays three male figures wearing plain wrappers and arm bangles. The figures likely represent the large numbers of local workers who labored along the coast under the employment of foreign maritime traders.