Lot: 325

98th Auction

Beautiful bell "dibu" ("ndibu")

D. R. Congo, Yombe / Vili

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Michel Koenig, Brussels, Belgium H: 5.3 inch This object is not available anymore.

wood, black paint residues, glass, plant fibre, with three clappers, base

The bell body, decorated with fine linear incised ornamentation, is crowned by a kneeling female figure, which despite its small size is extremely artistically crafted and shows beautiful, even facial features and harmoniously balanced body shapes.

She depicts a titled lady of high status, as evidenced by her high crested headdress, numerous bangles and luxuriant body scarifications. Her pupils are painted, her eyes glazed.

Such elaborately decorated wooden bells (p. "madibu") were part of the equipment of a "nganga" and were used in traditional healing rites. Their sound was supposed to help him to get into contact with the spirit world of the ancestors and find the cause of his clients' problems.

Simple bells were used for hunting, they were hung around the neck of the dogs.

Brincard, Marie-Therese, Sounding forms, New York 1989, p. 138 Cogdell, Jacqueline, Turn up the Volume! University of California 1999, p. 266