Kongo Wooden Pfemba Sculpture of a Mother and Child

SKU PF.3891

20th Century AD


14.5″ (36.8cm) high x 5.5″ (14.0cm) wide




Southwestern Congo

Gallery Location



Throughout time the idea of mother and child together has been a uniting force, creating images of happiness and contentment. This fetish helped to promote fertility which was so crucial in the future of any tribe. As the mother sits cross legged, she holds her baby carefully, in preparation for the child to suckle her breast. The mother is decorated with care on the upper portion of her body with the use of simple geometric lines and two silver applied decorations on her shoulders. Her face shows also great expression with her mouth slightly ajar, showing two teeth and a slightly protruding tongue. The hair is also done in the simplest of designs, yet the back shows the same design that is found on her chest.

With the smoothness of the wood and the care taken in creating this expressive sculpture, we realize the importance that these pieces had on the lives of people and the care that these people took in creating and revering them.

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