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26 UMMA Objects (page 1/3)
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This woodcarved, cephalomorphic divination pestle is representative of the Luba Shankadi style of figural sculpture, which is characterized by an abstract and schematic form. The head features a convex face, diamond-shaped eyes carved in relief, a ridged forehead and nose, an oblong mouth, and a long, cylindrical neck. The figure’s terraced, cascading coiffure is typical of hairstyles found in the Shankadi region. Four strands of china beads, white and blue in color, have been tied around the pestle and sit atop its circular base.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
1875 – 1885
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
This vessel is formed from a hollowed calabash or gourd, the top of which has been carved to form a lid, decoratively patterned with brass tacks and studded by a handle at the center. Snake skin covers the rounded base of the calabash conferring a coarse texture. Several holes have been drilled around the top perimeter of the base from which metal rings holding iron clappers or bells dangle. An array of man-made, animal, and vegetal objects are held inside the vessel, namely, small, wooden anthropomorphic figurines carved with a minimum of physiognomic detail, bird claws, feathers, wings, split cane, and dried seeds. 
Southwestern Songye (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Calabash (kileu)
1905 – 1915
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
Iron staff with 3 sets of 4 bells along the length, with two leaf-like protrusions near the middle. At the top are 7 birds in a circle surmounted by one large bird.
Yoruba (Yoruba (culture or style))
Diviner's Staff
1901 – 1999
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
This vessel made from a hollowed gourd is covered by animal skin and plugged by a finely carved, wooden head. The gourd visually creates a bulbous body for the figure. Further enhancing the anthropomorphic effect are small wooden rods, two of which appear below either side of the head resembling arms and held in place by twisted fiber. The head itself features prominent, rounded eyebrows, narrowly opened eyes, a perfectly rounded mouth, and a rectangular chin.
Songye (Songye)
1925 – 1935
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
A slightly curved rod, wider at the top while the bottom comes to a rounded point. In the middle is a figure of a woman kneeling and holding her breasts in her hands. There is also a nail near to the top of the object. 
Yoruba (Yoruba (culture or style))
Ifa divination tapper
1901 – 1950
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
Ivory rod with a round base and a pointed tip. A carved female figure kneels near the bottom of the rod. Above and below her are rows of various carved geometric patterns. A portion of the piece is hollow and there is an intentional hole at the base.
Ifa Divination Tapper
20th century
Gift of Robert M. and Lillian Montalto Bohlen in memory of Nancy Turner Bohlen
Standing male figure with his hands on his chest. Cord and fiber are wrapped around one arm and a bag containing feathers and sticks is tied to the other arm. 
Male Figure
20th century
Gift of Robert M. and Lillian Montalto Bohlen in memory of Nancy Turner Bohlen
Small bowl supported by two fish on a circular base. The two fish are curved so that the head, tail, and one fin support the bowl while the middle of the body rests on the base. The other fin connects the fish's tail to the head. The edge of the bowl and the base are decorated with incised diagonal marks. 
Yoruba (Yoruba (culture or style))
1901 – 1999
Gift and partial purchase from the estate of Kurt Delbanco in honor of Nicholas Delbanco
This small power figure features a naturalistic human face engulfed in layers of multi-media attachments, which create an imposing visual effect. The figure wears a blue turban wrapped around its head that binds bundles of medicinal substances and is crowned with several feathers. It also dons a metal necklace and a small bone dangles from the arm. The lower body is covered in fiber and a skirt of long leather strips. Possessing eyes encrusted with glass, the figure stands on top of a carved wooden turtle and holds the tip of a curved piece of wood in its mouth, the other end of which terminates in its clutched right hand. A large medicine pack, topped with a round mirror, is affixed to the figure's torso, which is thickly coated with resin and red pigment.
Yombe (Yombe (culture or style))
Power Figure
1850 – 1899
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
Small, semi-circular beaded bag with three beaded tassels and a braided leather handle. The base of the beadwork is blue, with three faces, two yellow and red flowers, and an interlace pattern decorating the surface. The outside of the bag is edged with yellow and red beads. 
Yoruba (Yoruba (culture or style))
Diviner's Beaded Bag
1960 – 1999
Gift of Dr. Daniel and Sandra Mato
A square bag made of dark red cloth covered with white, blue, black, red, and gold beadwork. The beadwork forms a large interlace pattern. Attached to the top of the bag is a brown cloth handle. 
Yoruba (Yoruba (culture or style))
Diviner's Beaded Bag
1960 – 1999
Gift of Dr. Daniel and Sandra Mato
Carved wooden figure of a crocodile. A carved wooden bell is attached to the figures neck. The face (eyes, nose, and mouth) are detailed.
Kongo (Kongo (culture or style))
Power figure (nkisi kozo)
20th century
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis
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