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    Artist Name:

    Metoko Artist, Democratic Republic of the Congo


    Male and Female Figures


    Nineteenth century




    16.25 inches

    Credit Line:

    Fred and Rita Richman Collection

    Accession Number:


    On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 102
    In Metoko societies, paired male and female figures representing husband and wife were used in initiation rites to confer the status of kasimbi, one of the highest ranks within the association called Bukota, whose membership included both men and women. The paired figures provided behavioral models, encouraged healing, and promoted peace. The Richmans have made couples—an important subject in African art—a special theme in their collecting. These sculptures represent idealized images of men and women who bear the potential to give birth to future generations. Without children, one does not become an ancestor.

    Reproduction of digital images, including downloading, is governed by copyright laws and international conventions. Please contact the Images and Rights Coordinator for information concerning permissions or to request digital photography of works in the High's collection.

    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.

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