Lot: 280

Standing male ancestor figure

D. R. Congo, Basikasingo / Buyu / eastern Bembe

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Bertil Berg, Gothenburg, Sweden H: 21.7 inch 8000 EUR / 15000 EUR

wood, rest. (base), mounted on pedestal The Sikasingo (Basi Kasingo) live in the eastern Congo region near Lake Tankanyika. They are a small group of the dispersed Buyu people who inhabited the area prior to the arrival of the Bembe. What is particularly striking about this figure is the abstract design of the facial features, which suggests works of modernism. The head is flattened from the level of the root of the nose and the eyes are broken around the resulting edge. The typical grooved hairstyle can be found at the back of the figure's head. Figures of the Basikasingo often represent individual ancestors, called "bashumbu". They were kept in special shrines under the authority and guardianship of a dominant lineage elder.


Schädler, Karl-Ferdinand, Encyclopedia of African Art and Culture, Munich 2009, p. 553 Biebuyck, Daniel P., Statuary from the pre-Bembe hunters, Tervuren 1981, ill. 33