MAf 04875

Please find more information about the object below the image.

Producer unknown to us


Africa, D. R. of the Congo, Kingdom of Luba, Luba-Lunda

Prior to 1885

Wood, carved

Hermann von Wissmann (Colonial Officer), Dr. Ludwig Wolf (Medical Practitioner, Anthropologist)

Donated to and bought by the museum from Wissmann and Wolf in 1898 

MAf 04875

This ancestral figure in the form of a warrior was intended to grant protection and good fortune to the descendants of the person portrayed. The complex scar tattooing that adorns the entire body, including the neck and face, refers to the actual body ornamentation within the Lulua community in what is now the D. R. Congo.

The museum acquired the figurine from Hermann von Wissmann in 1898, in part by purchase and in part as a donation. Wissmann collected this figure on his second expedition through Central Africa from 1883 to 1885, which he carried out on behalf of the Belgian King Leopold II. He stayed south of the Congo Basin. The exact circumstances of the acquisition are not known. In light of the person who commissioned the trip and considering that the Berlin Conference (also known as the Congo Conference) took place at the same time and was primarily concerned with access to the Congo Basin and the establishment of the Congo Free State, it can be assumed that the object was acquired by force.

Stefanie Bach