Mangbetu Statue on Custom Base 10.5″ – DRC – African Art


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SKU: 1003875 Categories: ,
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This statue was carved in the style of the Mangbetu people of DRC. Mangbetu figures can be identified by the elongated head from binding, a Mangbetu tradition. The statue measures 9.5 inches tall, 10.5 inches including base, and weighs 1 pound. The lips are slightly chipped and there is minor cracking and wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos.

Type of Object

Figure, statue

Country of Origin

DR Congo




Wood, Pigment

Approximate Age


Height (Inches)

9.5" figure | 10.5" including base

Width (Inches)

2" figure | 4.25" base

Depth (Inches)

2.25" figure | 4.25" base

Weight (Pounds)

1 lb

Tribe Information

About the Mangbetu People

“When the Mangbetu tribespeople left the Sudan in the middle of the 18th century, they re-located their kingdom in the north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Their social structure is not dissimilar to the other Zairean forest-based tribes where the men hunt and fish, while the women are left to cultivate the manioc fields. Ultimate authority over the 40,000 Mangbetu rests with a king whose sons govern the various provinces, which are divided into districts and villages. The Mangbetu tribe have been at war with their neighbours, the Zande, since the 18th century. Historically, Mangbetu are known for supposed cannibalism although it is not proven. They continue to practice “lipombo” a binding of the head, wrapped so tightly during infancy that it creates a lifelong elongated form of the skull. Mangbetu art was produced exclusively to enhance the prestige of the court and therefore it is not surprising that masks, which are usually associated with initiation ceremonies, were not produced.”

Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.

Additional Information

About the Mangbetu Figures

Mangbetu artists have sculpted a series of ancestor figures, male and female, about 60 cm high, in light wood with linear scarifications on the body. Wooden figures are believed to be ancestral portraits.


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