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Female Figure with Medicinal Charge (Musinju)

Arts of Africa

The bundle on top of the head of this figure contains magical ingredients meant to draw a spirit into the image, to assist its owner with tasks such as divination. The glossy surface comes from rubbing with palm oil.

CULTURE Kasongo
MEDIUM Wood, metal, resin
  • Place Made: Maniema Province
  • DATES 19th century
    DIMENSIONS 8 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 2 in. (21.6 x 6.4 x 5.1 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 22.817
    CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Kasongo. Female Figure with Medicinal Charge (Musinju), 19th century. Wood, metal, resin, 8 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 2 in. (21.6 x 6.4 x 5.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.817. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.817_SL1_edited_version.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 22.817_SL1_edited_version.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Female figure. Object carried on head. Holes on either side of the head suggest that it was used as a pendant. Covered with heavy coat of sticky oil. Will probably continue to exude oil to some extent even when some is removed by conservators. Condition: Good
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