Collections: Arts of Africa: Figure of a Mother Holding a Child (Lupingu lwa Cibola)

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Life-Death Figure

This sculpture of a man carrying a human skeleton on his back exemplifies the dualism of life and death that permeates Huastec and Mexica (A...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Block Statue of Padimahes

    Block statues show their subject seated on the ground with knees drawn up to the chest, resulting in a block-like form. Placed on the floor ...

     

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    50.124_view2_SL4.jpg 50.124_SL1.jpg CUR.50.124_print_detail_front_bw.jpg 50.124_edited_version_SL1.jpg 50.124_right_side_detail_acetate_bw.jpg 50.124_threequarter_detail_acetate_bw.jpg

    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 not on view
    • Exhibitions:
    • 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
    • Image: overall, 50.124_edited_version_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • 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 (91%)
    advanced 107,076 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."


    Recent Comments
    07:17 06/10/2011
    LUPINGU LUA LUIMPE

    I am a Lulua woman here
    a mediator between worlds:
    O make me fertile
    give me a child
    make my child live
    long and well

    so that you shall
    smile on me
    with such gifts
    as I ask of you
    I shall place one figure
    in my home
    and one I shall carry with me

    so that you
    shall allow these things
    I ask of you
    I shall be mindful each day;
    and I shall pour oil
    on the figure
    and wipe red clay
    and this I shall do
    everyday

    I am a Lulua woman here
    a mediator between worlds:
    O make me fertile
    give me a child
    make my child live
    long and well



    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.