210307 - Old Tribal used African Fetisch Yombe figure - Congo.


Old Tribal used Finely crafted african fetisch figure from the Yombe, Congo.

This type of figure has protecting function.

Hand carved from a single piece of wood, with color pigments and rope.

Heights: 31 cm.

At least two groups of people in Africa are described as the Yombe people. They reside primarily in Zambia, Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. Adept at crafts and art, the men are involved in weaving, carving, and smelting, and the women make clay pots. Popular figures include the Nkisi nkonde and female phemba statues.

The artistry of Yombe figurines and statues is well known, usually objects of prestige, kings seated on the throne, or female phemba (maternity) statues. Nkisi nkonde figurines, masks and drums are also made for ceremonies. Their funerary figures are renowned for their realistic depictions.

The supreme deity of the Yombe is Ngoma Bunzi, who hails from an unreachable realm called Yulu. He is contacted via Nzambi a Tsi (earth spirits) and Simbi (river spirits). The Yombe people build shrines as memorials to prominent ancestors, such as village chiefs who has special powers. The Yombe people of northern Zambia believe that people have three different identities: biological, social, and spiritual. Their social standing affects the type of funeral which might be given.1