MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Female Bembe or Basumba Ancestor Figure
Object Name:
Figure, Statue, Congo
Other Name:
Wood, Female, Possibly Bembe or Basumba
Place of Origin:
Bembe / Basumba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 30"
W = 8"
D = 8"

The Bembe carve numerous kinds of wooden figures that represent various spirits. They also carve several different kinds of masks, the most notable being antelope horn masks (elande). Knives, staffs, fly whisks, and divination gourds are also often decorated.
Standing wooden female figure with large oval—shaped eyes and large circular pupils. Large crescent—shaped inset eyebrows, leading into rectangular—shaped nose with flared nostrils. V—shaped upper lip, leading down to slightly open mouth with visible carved upper and lower teeth. Large three pointed coiffure, extending outward in a butterfly—like shape on the right and left, with a smaller nub—like shape in the center. Reversed D—shaped ears, with circular centers. Elongated pointed breasts and naval, arms at sides and carved slightly away from body, leading to hands, rested on upper thighs. Round buttocks, with short stout slightly bent legs leading to short square feet. Metal band around each ankle, large flat metal bands around very top of arms, directley under shoulders, and right wrist. Dark brown patina covering entire figure.
Guy Mace Collection, (Turblex Company)
Wood W/Patina
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
Click to Enlarge
Front ViewFront View
Front View - 2Front View - 2
Front View - 3Front View - 3
Right Side ViewRight Side View
Right Side View - 2Right Side View - 2
Left Side ViewLeft Side View
Left Side View - 2Left Side View - 2
Rear ViewRear View