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File:Hemba male figure1.jpg

English: Male figure, Hemba peoples, Niembo chiefdom, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Late 19th to early 20th century, Wood, plant fibre, glass beads

Among the Hemba peoples, carved wooden figures represent male ancestors who were venerated and linked to ownership of the land and to clan and lineage authority. They convey notions of ideal physical and moral qualities. Although these are said to depict particular ancestors, the figures are portrayed with generalized traits rather than individual, distinguishing characteristics. Both figures have well-balanced forms, refined and serene facial features and markers of gender, status and achievement. Each has an elaborate cruciform coiffure and a carefully rendered beard. One carries a warrior's lance and an adze and wears a narrow bracelet of authority. Both are meant to recall the political and military roles filled in the past by great men.

(National Museum of African Art)
Date 21 September 2008
Source Flickr
Author cliff1066
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Checked copyright icon.svg This image, originally posted to Flickr, was reviewed on 23 October 2008 by the administrator or reviewer MBisanz, who confirmed that it was available on Flickr under the stated license on that date.
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