Kusu Standing Figure on Custom Base Congo
Broken into a number of chiefdoms, local Kusu styles of carving evolved sharing similarities but differing in details of sculpting and in the use of body marking and showing the strong influence of their Songye and Hemba neighbors in overall style. Rather than a magical figure, this is an ancestor figure. Kusu magical figures would have holes carved in either their abdomen or heads to contain the magic needed to energize the figure. Ancestor figures are simples and don't have attached materials or charges. The different between these two categories are sometimes difficult to establish besides their visual aspects. Ancestor figures were used to commemorate former leaders of lineages and chefs of lands. These figures were placed on family shrines where offering and praises were conducted. The hands placed on the abdomen is a typical male position found among the Hemba and Songye as well as the Kusu. The surface of this figure shows evidence of ¬†use through handling and some age.
Approximate Age: 20th Century
Made In: Africa