Potential African AAHM Objects

Carved wooden figure of a human. The umbilicus protrudes and is concave, which would have held magical/medicinal substances. The figure is posed with crossed legs and one hand supporting the head. The face is detailed, with glass eyes. A metal ring was placed around the neck of the figure. The top of the head is empty, but possibly contained magical substances as well. 
Vili (Kongo)
Power Figure
wood, woven cotton fiber, glass, split cane, elephant hair, metal, and resin
9 3/16 in x 3 7/8 in x 3 5/8 in (23.3 cm x 9.8 cm x 9.2 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
Iron staff with a circle of 14 small birds surrounding a large, central bird, which is topped by a smaller bird. 
Herbalist's Staff
25 4/5 in x 10 ⅝ in x 11 7/16 in (65.56 cm x 26.99 cm x 29.05 cm);6 ⅛ in x 6 in x 6 1/16 in (15.56 cm x 15.24 cm x 15.4 cm)
Gift and partial purchase from the estate of Kurt Delbanco in honor of Nicholas Delbanco
Prestige Axe
metal blade with snake or lizard skin wrapped wood handle
12 13/16 in x 5 13/16 in (32.5 cm x 14.8 cm)
Gift of Susan B. and John F. Ullrich
This woodcarved figure depicts a female with a large bowl-shaped vessel upon the crown of her head, intended to be a container for symbolic, medicinal and spirit “activating” ingredients. Representative of the Kasongo style (regarded as the “classical” or “pure” Kusu stylistic form), this <em>kakudji</em> features an inverted, triangular-shaped head, a wide, convex forehead, high ears, cowrie shell eyes, a triangular nose, an oval mouth with protruding lips, a pointed chin, and conical breasts. The figure possesses a prominent belly indicating pregnancy, and representing the themes of maternity, fertility, and the continuation of the lineage. A large piece of textured cloth tied in place with rope encircles the female’s lower arms and lower body.
Power Figure
wood, cowrie shells, string, animal skin, and cloth
9 ½ in x 4 1/16 in x 3 ⅞ in (24.13 cm x 10.32 cm x 9.84 cm);9 ½ in x 4 1/16 in x 3 ⅞ in (24.13 cm x 10.32 cm x 9.84 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
This bold and dramatic wooden Pende <em>mbangu</em> mask features a half-white, half-black face with a contorted visage.  The face has been carved in such a way that the features appearing on the left side, which has been pigmented black, are either positioned lower (the left ear and eye) or droop downwards (left sides of the nose and mouth). Moreover, the black portion of the face features several indentations representing scars. The resulting visual effect is one of facial asymmetry. A thick layer of white and black pigment has been applied to the face’s wooden surface, while black raffia fibers have been tightly woven onto a vegetable fiber cloth on the black half of the mask, completing the look.
wood, pigments, vegetable fiber, raffia
15 3/8 in x 8 1/4 in x 8 1/4 in (39.05 cm x 20.96 cm x 20.96 cm);15 3/8 in x 8 1/4 in x 8 1/4 in (39.05 cm x 20.96 cm x 20.96 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
This &nbsp;figure stands in a dynamic pose with knees slightly flexed. This androgynous figure sports a European-style hat, a crescent-shaped beard, and a realistically carved penis. The figure has gracefully curved shoulders and powerful legs. The&nbsp;feet and the arms, originally bent at ninety degrees, have been damaged. Most Bwende figures bear forms of scarification; this figure is no exception. Ornate scarifications are carved in relief upon its abdomen and torso while lined scarifications appear across the chest and forehead and beneath the eyes, which are inlaid with white shell. Most strikingly, however, are the two large metal rods that forcefully pierce the figure&#39;s abdomen.
Power Figure
wood, shells and metal
15 in x 4 ¼ in x 5 ½ in (38.1 cm x 10.8 cm x 13.97 cm);13 ¼ in x 4 ⅛ in x 5 in (33.66 cm x 10.48 cm x 12.7 cm);1 ¾ in x 4 ¼ in x 5 ½ in (4.45 cm x 10.8 cm x 13.97 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
Hollowed cone-shaped vessel with a thinly tapered, extended tip. Vessel is designed with various geometric shapes including repetitive diamond and square patterns.
12 5/16 in x 3 9/16 in (31.27 cm x 9.05 cm)
Museum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art
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.&nbsp;
Southwestern Songye (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Calabash (kileu)
bird claws, feathers and wings, metal, gourd, snakeskin, split cane, dried seeds, and wood
5 ⅞ in x 7 ½ in x 7 ½ in (14.92 cm x 19.05 cm x 19.05 cm);5 ⅞ in x 7 ½ in x 7 ½ in (14.92 cm x 19.05 cm x 19.05 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
Pipe made in three parts: wood-carved stem, inner metal pipe for drawing smoke, and metal, possibly bronze bowl.  Wood-carved, openwork stem is comprised of interlocking lizards; spiral whorls cover the cast metal bowl.  bands of cowrie shells encircle the bottom and “neck” of the bowl, while its lip is topped with the classic Grassfields motif of a prestige cap.<br />
Prestige Pipe
wood, metal, possibly copper and bronze
22 5/8 in x 2 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in (57.4 cm x 6.3 cm x 11.5 cm);22 1/2 in x 2 9/16 in x 4 1/2 in (57.2 cm x 6.5 cm x 11.5 cm)
Museum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art
Food Paddle
20 7/8 in x 3 11/16 in x 3 in (53 cm x 9.3 cm x 7.6 cm)
Gift of Marc Leo Felix, Brussels
This wooden mortar is decorated by finely carved geometric patterns and features two anthropomorphic heads bearing recognizable Chokwe characteristics including coffeebean-shaped eyes enclosed in large ocular cavities. The lower head, the face of an idealized female (<em>mwana pwo</em>), forms the body of the mortar. The upper head, turned at a 90 degree angle from the lower head, is wearing a headdress which extends behind his face. Resting on top of the upper head is the bowl of the mortar.
12 in x 2 7/16 in x 2 5/8 in (30.5 cm x 6.2 cm x 6.7 cm);12 in x 2 7/16 in x 2 5/8 in (30.5 cm x 6.2 cm x 6.7 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
A brass container with a round body and short neck. Along the top and bottom edge of the body are undulating lines. The wooden stopper is connected to the container by a string of brass beads. There are also three strings of cowrie shells attached to the top of the container. 

brass, leather, cowrie shells, wood, and string
6 11/16 in x 2 3/8 in (16.99 cm x 6.03 cm)
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis


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24 Collection Object Sources

Power Figure (2005/1.183)
Herbalist's Staff (2017/1.660)
Prestige Axe (1998/1.50)
Power Figure (2005/1.222)
Mask (2005/1.200)
Power Figure (2005/1.178)
Clyster (1984/2.27)
Calabash (kileu) (2005/1.231)
Prestige Pipe (1985/1.150)
Food Paddle (1986/2.6)
Mortar (2005/1.205)
Container (2000/2.37)
Container (2000/2.35)
Container (2000/2.34)
Container (2000/2.36)
Container (2000/2.32)
Pipe (2000/2.28)
Pipe (2000/2.29)
Pipe (2000/2.31)
Power Figure (2005/1.182)
Male Figure (2005/1.196.2)
Female Figure (2005/1.196.1)
Stopper (1984/2.40)
Power Figure (2005/1.229)

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September 17, 2019 10:57 a.m.


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