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Pfemba maternity statue. Kongo (Yombe). Reduced Zaïre region. Wood, mirror.© Africa-Museum, Tervuren
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Maternity figures are amongst the most renown in afri art because of their easily recognizable theme, your classical kind and your fine workmanship. Maternity figurines (pfemba) room thought come have first been provided in rituals addressing women"s infertility, and were decorated in a red paste. In Kongo iconology, the colour red symbolizes transitional phases such together birth and also death, as well as ritual practices. The figures" mitred hairstyles space a reminder the a fashion as soon as popular among Mayombe men and also women; the knitted bonnet or mpu says high rank.


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Ladies from this an ar often had actually intricate patterns of scarification on your bodies, do by rubbing substances into incisions in the skin. This keloid tattoos boosted a woman"s sexual appeal — without scarifications a woman might be mocked due to the fact that she to be "as slippery together a fish." Filed teeth also reflect the Kongo best of female beauty.
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