Vili figure

Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo

Vili figure

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Nkisi seating figure

Late 19th century
Carved wood
Height: 13 cm – 5 ¼ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Bela Hein (1883-1931), Paris
Ex collection Gisèle Weinberg, Paris
Ex private collection, Paris
Ex Galerie Schoffel-Valluet, Paris
Ex collection Patrick & Béatrice Caput, Paris
Ex collection Bernard Dulon, Paris

Publication
P. Caput & V. Plisnier, « Arts d’Afrique, Portrait d’une collection », 2016, p. 86-87

Vili figure Bela Hein / Galerie Flak Price: on request
Vili / Kongo sacred sculptures are among the most powerful and refined of all Sub-Saharan art forms, and rank among the iconic genres of African art.
The ancestor figure here is seating with crossed legs, his head resting on his right hand.
This posture, known locally as "bunzama" is associated in Kongo sculpture with prudence. It embodies the essence of reflection prior to engaging in action or verbal expression. This stance symbolizes the embodiment of the ideal leader, measured, thoughtful, and capable of making a decision that is binding for the well-being of the community. This power figure, with its remarkable pedigree, is imbued with strength and sensitivity.
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