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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Kongo, Yombe : Kongo Ivory Flywhisk
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Kongo Ivory Flywhisk - PF.5093
Origin: Southwestern Congo/Angola
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Ivory and Hair

Additional Information: Dimensions Do Not Include the Hair

Location: UAE
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Two naked female figures sit back to back, nearly identical with hands placed comfortably on slightly spread knees. A barrel-shaped extension, with double incised ridges encircling top and middle portions, is attached to the female's heads at the base. Thick horse hair flows from the top of the barrel like smoke from a pipe. A tubular section is carved with a zig-zag design, with egg shapes nestled between each band. The end swells into a bulbous shape before narrowing sharply to a point.

Kongo sculptors are well-known for their refined work, particularly in elite objects, of which the flywhisk is one of the most impressive. Those who can afford ivory use the whisk not only for practical purposes, but also as a sign of wealth and social position. Seated female figures appear on other sculptural works as symbols of sexuality and fertility. Seeing the graceful form of this flywhisk it is easy to understand why it is regarded as an object of prestige.
- (PF.5093)


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