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    Artist Name:

    Kongo Artist

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    Democratic Republic of the Congo




    Twentieth century




    25 3/4 x 2 x 2 1/2 inches

    Credit Line:

    Purchase through prior acquisition from Mr. and Mrs. Leslie L. Rood

    Accession Number:


    Currently Not on View
    This ivory sculpture comes from the region of central Africa, where the Kingdom of the Kongo was founded ca. 1400. In 1483 Portuguese explorers arrived, bringing their religion with them. In 1491 the Kongo king Nzinga aNkuwa converted to Christianity and was baptized as João I; his son and heir Afonso Mvemba a Nzinga later established Christianity as the state religion. Kongo artists began to work with the established iconography and artistic forms of the new faith. In this ivory Madonna sculpture, a rosary dangles from her elbow as a snake encircles her skirt. In the Kongo region of central Africa, religious works mingle Christian iconography with pre Christian indigenous religious beliefs.

    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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