About this artwork
This delicate rendering of a mother holding her newborn child celebrates human fertility. The figure was related to rituals dedicated to helping women with childbirth and preventing infant mortality. Scarification patterns, hairstyles, jewelry, and anatomical details expressed the Luluwa concept of bwimpe, which unites beauty with goodness. Such figures may have served as both containers for medicine and symbols of status, reflecting societal changes in the latter half of the 19th century.
- Mother-and-Child Figure (Bwanga bwa Chibola)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Wood and pigment
- 28.9 × 8.6 × 8.2 cm (11 3/8 × 3 3/8 × 3 1/4 in.)
- Wirt D. Walker Fund