Figurative Vessel

Mangbetu peoples

Not on view

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.

Figurative Vessel, Terracotta, slip(?), Mangbetu peoples

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.