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

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

 

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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)

ART OF TRAUMA
Both of these very different Congolese works are deeply emotional expressions. One was commissioned to resolve a personal trama, while the other represents a viscerally remembered social upheaval from the colonial era.

Figures like this mother and child were believed to offer protection, through the intervention of spirits, by the Bwanga Bwa Cibola society. When a woman lost successive children through miscarriages or early infant death, she could be initiated into the society to protect herself from ominous forces suspected to be the cause of the deaths. This emotionally gripping figure is considered to be one of the great masterpieces of African art.

Tshibumba's painting depicts the slaughter of striking mineworkers in Lubumbashi at the order of the Belgian colonial government on December 9, 1941. The artist critiques the institutions complicit in the colonial system: Belgium (represented by the flag), the church, the mining company, the colonial governor (with arm raised), and the Congolese soldiers in the colonial army. Following independence in 1960, a market for narrative painting developed among urban Congolese who were working in mining factories and living in new, Western-style homes.

This text refers to these objects: ' 50.124; 2010.1

  • 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 Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
  • 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%)
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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



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