Mangbetu Royal Art and Herbert Lang, 1902-1906

by Enid Schildkrout
Museum for African Art (formerly American Museum of Natural History)

Makere mural. Mangbetu peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo by Herbert Lang. Submitted by Enid Schildkrout.

Mural painting on walls of houses in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo included wonderfully complex geometric patterns and abstract designs. This mural was photographed on the inside wall of a chief's meeting room in 1913 in Niapu, then part of the Belgian Congo. It includes infinitely variable abstract black and white patterns and an abstract representation of a person.