Figure of a Mother Holding a Child (Lupingu lwa Cibola)
This ethereal and delicate Lulua maternity figure is considered one of the masterpieces of African art. When a woman lost children through miscarriages or infant death, she could be initiated into the Bwanga Bwa Cibola society, which used such figures to offer protection.
- Culture: Lulua
- Medium: Wood, copper alloy, palm oil, camwood paste, organic materials
- Place Made: Ndemba, West Kasai Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dates: 19th century
- Dimensions: 14 x 3 3/8 x 3 1/2 in. (35.6 x 8.6 x 8.9 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is on view in South Gallery, 1st Floor
- Accession Number: 50.124
- Credit Line: Museum Collection Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Lulua. Figure of a Mother Holding a Child (Lupingu lwa Cibola), 19th century. Wood, copper alloy, palm oil, camwood paste, organic materials, 14 x 3 3/8 x 3 1/2 in. (35.6 x 8.6 x 8.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 50.124. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: A wood maternity figure of a woman holding a child which twists her arms. The face of the woman shows elaborate scarification. Below the chest the body is not well defined and narrows considerably. The navel is quite prominent but the remainder of the figure is like a staff. There is no indication of the legs etc. Condition: Good. From the waist down there is no body.
- Record Completeness: Best (89%)