By Monica Demott
(formerly University of Iowa)

CongoBeembe artist



H. 16.83 cm (6 5/8")

Detroit Institute of Arts, Bequest of Robert H. Tannahill, 70.17

This small wooden figure from Beembe peoples in western Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Lower Congo River Area, was carved with the scarification patterns of a specific ancestor and was given effective spiritual power by the insertion of medicine (principally white kaolin clay) in a small hole between the buttocks. Other Beembe figures represent ancestors holding guns as attributes of status.