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    Artist Name:

    Kongo Artist, Vili Region

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    Democratic Republic of the Congo or Republic of the Congo

    Title:

    Fly Whisk

    Date:

    19th century

    Medium:

    Wood, hair, and raffia

    Dimensions:

    13¾ x 2 x 2 inches

    Credit Line:

    Fred and Rita Richman Collection

    Accession Number:

    1984.308

    On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 102, African Collection
    This fly whisk was used as an emblem of political office. Its smooth, worn surfaces show signs of extensive use. Delicate metalwork ornaments the figure’s face, repeating the same sign at the center of her forehead and at both temples. These four points mark the Dikenga, the Kongo cosmogram that charts the never-ending cycle of life. Moving counterclockwise, the point at three o’clock indicates birth, twelve o’clock indicates prime of life, nine o’clock indicates the role of the elders, and six o’clock refers to the realm of the ancestors.



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    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.