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.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.