Holo power Figure - Mvunzi
Country: DR Congo.
Date: early 20th century.
Medium: wood and red pigments.
Size: h. 26 cm (10 ¼ in.).
Provenance: ex Norman Hurst, Cambridge (Massachusetts).
Extra: The Holo form a "hinge" group, from between the north (Suku and Pende) and the south (Tshokwe and Luunda), between Angola and The Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Holo sculpture is very varied due to the influences of their culturally dominant neighbours: Suku, Yaka, Lunda,Tshokwe and others. This is a fine Holo female power figure showing convincing age and wear. Delicate carving and traces of pigment. While systematic research has not been done into the function of these figures, it is assumed that they serve much the same purpose as the protective figures of the Yaka and Suku. Such power figures, traditionally used for healing, are known as "mvunzi".
Photo credit: © Jean Godecharle.
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