26 UMMA Objects
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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
At the center of the print is a series of abstract bone-like shapes put together to resemble a creature or creatures. The background is colored, top to bottom, in blue, yellow, and green. The print is signed and dated (l.r.) "Yves Tanguy 1947" and numbered (l.l.) "57/70" in pencil.
Yves Tanguy (French (culture or style))
Museum Purchase
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
This carved, wooden Yaka figure depicts a man standing with an animal perched atop his head. The carving is stylized and exhibits characteristics typically seen among northern Yaka figural representations: flexed knees; arms bent with upturned palms positioned at shoulder level; and, an animal figure upon its head. In this case, the creature has a curved body and appears to be an anteater. The male figure has a narrow, cylindrical body; a slightly protruding belly; a simple coiffure; an elongated face; barely-open eyes from which vertical lines extend downward; a disproportionately large, pointed nose, and a darkened beard.
Yaka (Yaka (Kwango-Kwilu region style))
1915 – 1925
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
Elaborately carved staff with, from the top: a male figure wearing Western-style clothes, with painted eyes, eyebrows, mouth, moustache, hat and clothes, sitting on a simple stool, resting his hands on his knees; a U-shaped snake on one side and a mortar on the other; a pair of a male and a female figure on either side (the male is standing on one leg, bending the other at the knee to make a triangle); a dark black spherical form; a row of three turtles on one side and two salamanders and a frog on the other; and finally three outstretched snakes (painted yellow, brown and red, respectively), one of them eating a small frog.
Kongo (Kongo (culture or style))
1900 – 1950
Gift of Margaret H. and Albert J. Coudron
This wooden staff has pieces of cloth wrapped on both extensions. One end depicts an abstract anthropomorphic face, while the other appears to function as a handle and is embellished with two strings of black and white beads and a loop of blue and white beads.
Kongo (Kongo (culture or style))
1900 – 1950
Gift of Margaret H. and Albert J. Coudron
Horizontally positioned statue in the shape of a crocodile. The back of the statue is flattened with a slight concave in the middle. The body contains carved linear designs and the tail has a rectangular shape.
Kuba (Kuba (Democratic Republic of Congo style))
Rubbing Oracle
1920 – 1930
Museum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art
This large and commanding Songye <em>nkisi</em> carved from wood depicts a male figure with the following characteristics: a large head whose crown is covered in stunning copper; almond shaped eyes; a large, oblong mouth; metal tacks across the temples; and a bold, trapezoidal chin. The figure’s hands rest on either side of its protruding belly, which bears a round mark representing its umbilicus. The <em>nkisi</em> dons a vegetable fiber loincloth which has been affixed by raffia. A trio of necklaces serve as adornments while a medicinal pestle dangles from its waist. Also remarkable is the handsome leather purse which the figure carries around its arm. 
Songye (Songye)
Power Figure
1885 – 1895
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
At the top of this Songye scepter, is a finely carved, wooden finial that takes the form of an anthropomorphic figure which has a pear-shaped face, round eyebrows, large pupils, and an open mouth. Additionally, scarification patterns appear on the forehead and temples. The body of the scepter is laden with a rich array of man-made, plant, and animal materials that have been affixed to it, namely, multiple strands of blue beads and small pieces of metal, seeds, vegetable fiber, shells, teeth, claws, and animal skin whose long hair falls in a cascade. 
Songye (Songye)
1925 – 1935
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
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
This exquisite Vili whistle (<em>nsiba</em>) is has two separate components: the body of the whistle is a gazelle horn that has been placed through a small, conical hole in the rounded base of a delicately carved wooden cap. Upon this cap, two nearly identical birds, with their talons clutching the base, stand face-to-face and chest-to-chest, grasping onto a single spherical object representing a peanut between their open beaks. Given this motif, the carving naturally possesses a high degree of symmetry and balance. The cap is further embellished by a smooth and polished finish.
Vili (Kongo) (Vili)
1850 – 1900
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern