Congo and West African Woodcarvings

By: Henry Usher Hall

Originally Published in 1923

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In earlier volumes of the JOURNAL we have published some description of the Museum’s Collection of West African and Congo collections. These collections have recently received important accessions and the purpose of this article is to call attention to one group of these newly acquired objects.

Map of West Africa and the Congo Region

I. The Maritime Congo Region

The region of Africa in which the objects pictured here originated is one whose historical connection with Europe has been unbroken for more than four hundred years. The mouth of the Congo was reached by the Portuguese towards the end of the fifteenth century in the course of those explorations which gave us our first knowledge of the shores of Africa to the south of the great western limb of the continent. The Portuguese learned from the natives on the coast of a great lord or king of Kongo (territory, not river) living in the interior. An embassy was sent to this potentate, who consented to be baptized and to recognize Christianity as the religion of his country. This was about ten years after the discovery of the Congo River. Some forty years later a cathedral was established at the capital of the King of Kongo which was then given the name of San Salvador which it still retains, though the cathedral has long been in ruins.

Carved wood bell or rattle with a figure seated on two small figures for a handle
Fig. 1. — Wooden bell or rattle. Loango.
Museum Object Number: AF3627
Image Number: 858

Through the remainder of the sixteenth century and in the seventeenth and eighteenth, numerous attempts, Portuguese, Italian, Belgian, and French, were made to fortify or reestablish the earliest missionary efforts. But except in the coast country to the south of the estuary, where the Portuguese established themselves in force at Sao Paolo de Loanda, and inland on the middle Kwango, Christianity never obtained a firm foothold among the people of the region west of the Cataracts, between the Kwanza River to the south and the Kwilu to the north of the estuary, until within recent years. It was, and still is, the home of some of the most highly developed forms of fetishism in Africa; and, with the best intentions, the early missionaries merely succeeded in modifying primitive religious ideas and practices with suggestions for new ritual and new objects, such as the cross, for employment as fetishes. This in spite of the fact that the King of Kongo consented to receive his crown from the Pope, and was treated sometimes as a vassal and sometimes as an equal and allied sovereign by the Kings of Portugal, while every petty chief or headman was styled by the Portuguese Duke or Marquis or Count prefixed to a Christian name bestowed by the missionaries, who baptized their tens of thousands.

To the north of the Congo the Portuguese obtained what was for long a precarious foothold near the mouth of the river, where they still remain in Cabinda. While the whole region as far inland as the cataracts of the Congo seems to have been at one time under the overlordship of the King of Kongo, at the time of the Portuguese discovery this suzerainty, so far at least as Loango was concerned, had survived merely or chiefly in the recognition of Kongo as a kind of holy land, the source of fetish power and influence. The early favourable response, superficial though it was, to Portuguese diplomatic or political christianizing efforts, led to a reaction against all things European in Loango, north of the estuary, and the territories formerly subject to or allied with Loango—broadly speaking the country between the Kwilu and the Congo rivers. So a new taboo, or prohibition having supernatural sanction, was instituted in Kakongo, according to which the king must not wear or have in his house any article of white man’s making. This is reported in the year 1682 by Father Merolla of Sorrento, a Capuchin and an Apostolic Missioner from Rome, who has left us a very interesting account of his travels between Loanda and Loango and as far inland as San Salvador, where he attempted to reestablish Catholic and Portuguese influences at the invitation of the King of Kongo. It was through Merolla that the taboo was first broken. He presented to the King of Kakongo “a Christal Crown and another of blue glass for the Queen.” Apparently the king was growing tired of the policy of holding aloof from the profitable trade in slaves for cloth, etc., for he was pleased to accept the gift and contemplated being baptized, if Merolla would send a well equipped Portuguese trader into his country.1

Carved wood bell or rattle with a mother kneeling with child as handle
Fig. 2. — Wooden bell or rattle. Loango.
Museum Object Number: AF5062
Image Number: 859

However little success, apart from a merely nominal one, the Portuguese may have had in their, efforts to import Christian ideas, some of their imports of a material nature had a great influence for good on their negro subjects and customers in Angola. This name, originally the title of the king of the southern portion of the old empire or confederacy of Kongo, came to be applied to all Portuguese territory between the Congo and the Kunene, including the provinces of Loanda, Benguela, and Mossamedes, with their back country. “To a region, hitherto only knowing as sustenance plantains, leaves, fungi, palm-shoots, beans, palm-nuts and fish; human flesh, the flesh of rare domestic goats, sheep, fowls, and dogs, or of a few big wild beasts occasionally and with difficulty killed, or of small beasts or birds caught in snares: the Portuguese introduced the domestic pig and the European ox, and that succulent ‘Muscovy’ duck, a Brazilian bird which has travelled right across Africa from the Congo to Moçambique; they brought . . . such a variety of vegetable food-stuffs as the manioc, ground-nut, maize, capsicum, sweet potato, pineapple, guava, orange, lime, sugar-cane, tomato, and papaw.”2 Of these food plants the majority seem to have been introduced from Brazil, where, or elsewhere in tropical America, the most useful were native.

Fig. 1, a wooden bell or rattle from Loango, illustrates another feature of the material culture of the Brazilian Indians which the Portuguese introduced into West Africa. This was the hammock, which, although of more importance for the comfort of the white man than for that of the negro in the latter country, was adopted by the blacks in imitation of the Portuguese. In Brazil and Guiana the principal use to which the hammock was put by the natives was as an article of furniture, to sleep in. In Africa it was used by the whites as a vehicle, a substitute for the heavier palanquin, and this mode of employment was copied by persons of rank among the negroes. The name tipoya, by which the carrying hammock is still known to whites and negroes in Angola, is witness for the American origin of the thing itself.

“Tipoya,” says M. Buchner,3 “in the Tupi language is a sleeveless garment of bast and denotes at the same time also a net in which the Indian women are accustomed to carry their children.” L. Adam4 lists various forms of the word, setting down the form tipoja (tipoya) as being from the Brazilian lingua geral—from which it would most naturally pass into common Portuguese speech—but gives only the meaning “long garment.” The other meaning referred to by Buchner is reported by H. Coudreau from the Oyampi on the border of French Guiana and Brazil.5 The thing itself is found under other forms and with other names in different parts of Brazil. A particularly strange use is reported by P. Ehrenreich from the Karaya on the Araguaya River: “Among the garments is also to be reckoned an article quite peculiar to the Karaya, the miscalled rede (hammock) by the Brazilians. . . . This object woven from cotton looks indeed very like a true hammock, but . . . serves in fact . . . by day as a mantle, at night is laid under the sleeper on the ground. One end is drawn over the head like a hood, while the other covers the seat.”6 If a tribe, which, having had, as Ehrenreich supposes, originally no hammocks of their own, yet which lives in the native home of the hammock, was capable of making such singular mistakes about the use to which a borrowed object was put, the Brazilian Portuguese may be excused for miscalling riiŏ rede (net), since this was the common alternative Portuguese term which they employed for the carrying hammock, tipoya.

Large wood head with face titled back, from the front
Fig. 3. — Head of a large wooden figure. Maritime region of the Congo.
Museum Object Number: 29-94-17
Image Number: 799

Thus the Italian Father Michael Angelo of Gattina, using the expression which he heard in the country, in describing manners and customs in Angola in the seventeenth century: “The Whites, when they go about the Town [Loanda], are followed by two Blacks with an Hammock of Network, which is the conveniency us’d for carrying of People, even when they travel. Another Black walks by his Master’s side, holding a large Umbrello over him to keep off the Sun, which is violent hot. . . . When the White Women go abroad, which is very seldom, they are carry’d in a cover’d Net, as is us’d in Brazil, with attendance of Slaves.”7 De Carli, writing of the journey into the interior of the kingdom, in the course of which his companion, Father Michael Angelo died, speaks of being “carried in my Net, which to me seeme an easy sort of Carriage,” while his companion was in “his hammock.”8 Net=tipoya=hammock, the latter being an Arawak word. The tipoya of Angola is a hammock slung to a pole; the “covered net ” was provided also with an awning.

The transference of function involved in the use of a bed as a vehicle was not an independent act of the Portuguese. As we have seen, Indian mothers in Brazil used a kind of hammock to carry their babies in. But this was not the only sort of hammock transportation that the early Portuguese conquistadors and colonists had the opportunity of observing in the neighbourhood of their American settlements. Says Jean Barbot: “This sort of beds is also used throughout South America, to carry wounded or sick people in; those that are appropriated to this use, have at each end a great ring, through which they put a pole of a sufficient length and strength to bear a man’s weight. And thus two Indians, one before and the other behind, carry the sick man, supported in his hammock, by the pole, which the porters bear upon their shoulders.”9 Barbot is here speaking primarily of the natives of Guiana, by which he means the country between the Orinoco and the Amazon.

Large wood head with face tilted back, in profile
Fig. 4. — Side view of Fig. 3.
Museum Object Number: 29-94-17
Image Number: 800

Still earlier accounts also speak of the hammock being put to a similar use in eastern Brazil. Among the Tapuya (Tarairyou), we are told, somewhat incredibly as to the first part of the statement, some people live to be 150, 160, and even 200 years old, so that they can no longer walk and must be carried in hammocks. Among the Tapoyo (Tapuya) in general it was observed that they “carried a hammock between two men, which is a cotton cloth made like fishing nets.”10

In later times and down to the present, the tipoya has continued to be the common form of conveyance in Portuguese Africa. In the early sixties of the last century, Sir Richard Burton went, partly by water and partly by land, up to the Yellala Falls, the first of the Cataracts of the Congo, and made various shorter excursions in the coast country between Loanda and the mouth of the great river. He speaks with admiration of the tipoya bearers he found at Kinsembo. “They are admirable bearers. Four of them carried us at the rate of at least six miles an hour; apparently they cannot go slowly, and they are untireable as black ants. Like the Bahian cadeira-men, they use shoulder-pads, and forked sticks to act as levers when shifting; the bamboo pole has ivory pegs, to prevent the hammock-clews slipping, and the sensation is somewhat that of being tossed in a blanket.”11

In the nineties the palanquin was still “used by the whites and well-to-do natives in the Portuguese towns of West Africa,” but “for long marches through the bush, it is replaced by the ‘tipoia’, which is a hammock hanging from a strong bamboo pole, to which a . . . canopy is fixed so as to protect from sun or rain “—the “covered net”12 of Father Michael Angelo of Gattina.

Head of a staff or baton showing a head wearing a tall curved headpiece, from the front
Fig. 5. — Head of a baton, probably from Loanda.
Museum Object Number: 29-94-12

The “tipoia of Angola” pictured in the account of the Portuguese explorers Capello and Ivens of their journey “From Benguella to the Territory of Yacca” in 1877-188013 has, like Burton’s, two poles, and this is apparently the usual form, at any rate for journeys of any considerable length.

Native rulers of importance soon came to imitate the Portuguese in their use of the hammock, as in that of honorific titles and other appurtenances of the European great. De Carli14 speaks of the King of Kongo’s “red hammock . . . [of] Silk or dy’d Cotton; the Staff was cover’d with red Velvet.” And Merolla writes: “When the Count [of Sogno] comes to Church . . . he has a Velvet Chair and Cushion carry’d before him, being brought himself in a Net -on the Shoulders of two Men, each with a Commander’s Staff in his hand, one all Silver and the other only of Ebony tipp’d.”15

E. Pechuel-Loesche,16 writing of Loango as it was in the seventies of the last century, describes the decline of the power of native rulers under foreign influences. Formerly only the mifumu, the members of the territorial nobility, had the right to be carried in hammocks. With the rise of a prosperous trading class, who could aspire to share, for a consideration, the privileges of their betters, this, as well as other once exclusive marks of rank, was acquired by a host of petty headmen of villages and other parvenus. So the personage who is represented in the group of the bell or rattle, Fig. 1, is not necessarily one of the very great. The exiguity of his tipoya, in which he has room only to sit athwart, legs dangling, in which he could not possibly recline in the fashion approved for his white exemplars, suggests that he is a minor profiteer, enjoying perhaps as little honour in his own country as the one of whom we are told by the author just quoted that, on entering a village in this kind of newly attained state to take part in a palaver, he was incontinently tumbled, noisily protesting, out of his hammock, to the great joy of the women and children, and constrained to take his place sheepishly in the ranks of those who sat on the ground.

A pottery figurine from a Mayombe [back country of Loango] grave ornament pictured in the Annales du Musée du Congo, Brussels, Ser. 3, Vol. II, Part I, p. 21, very rudely modelled, is of a man sitting, apparently crosslegged, in a hammock of the same type as that of Fig. I, with his hands crossed and resting on the pole. The bearers are not represented. A group like that figured here, but much mutilated, appears on a wooden drum stand in Volume 1, Series 3, of the Annales. This is from the maritime Congo.

Head of a staff or baton showing a head wearing a tall curved headpiece, in profile showing the curve of the headpiece
Fig. 6. — Right and left sides of Fig. 5.
Museum Object Number: 29-94-12
Image Number: 845, 846

The personage in Fig. 1, like Merolla’s Count of Sogno (Sonho, Ngoyo) has only two bearers, who support the tipoya pole not upon their shoulders, but steadied upon their bare heads with one hand. This is likely to have been a common practice, at any rate for the tipoya with a single pole, since the negro will, as a rule, prefer to carry a load in that position. In one of the groups on a carved tusk from Loango in the University Museum, a white man is represented being carried in a reclining position in a tipoya by two bearers only, who support the pole on their heads. The pole in this case rests upon pads on the bearers’ heads, and the dews of Burton’s description are clearly represented. On the other hand, a group sketched in the Ethnographical Album of the Congo River Region17 shows what is evidently a native carried in a tipoya and facing athwart it, whose bearers support the pole on their shoulders. His hammock has no awning and, like the man of the other ivory carving, who is also without such shelter, he carries an umbrella.

That the personage of Fig. I is not a European, in spite of the closely fitting jacket and the breeches, is evident from his bare feet, his cap, the nature of his tipoya, and the fact that his features, though of a different cast from those of his bearers, are not marked by any of the characteristics with which negro sculptors are at pains to endow their representations of white men, as in the case of the ivory carvings of Benin and of Loango itself, and of the Benin bronzes, for example.

As for the cap: Sir Richard Burton was received on landing at Shark Point at the mouth of the Congo by “Mr. Tom Peter, Mafuka, or chief trader . . . He bore his highly respectable name upon the frontal band of his beretta alias corôa, an open-worked affair, very like the old-fashioned jelly-bag night-cap. This headgear of office made of pine-apple fibre . . . costs ten shillings; it is worn by the kinglets, who now distribute it to all the lieges whose fortunes exceed some fifty dollars.”18 This passage refers to the country south of the river, the old kingdom or province of Ngoyo, but manners and customs were the same, or nearly so, in Loango and other portions of the old Kongo confederacy.

Dennett, writing of a somewhat later time says: “I forgot to mention the most important part of all . . . that the effigy [of the late King of Kakongo] was wearing his native cap (made of the fibre of the pineapple) with the name Neamlau marked on it.” The marking of names on these caps would, of course, be a comparatively recent innovation. The cap legally became the property of the new king at the end of the ceremonies connected with his coronation.19

Head of a staff or baton showing a head wearing a tall curved headpiece, from the back
Fig. 7. — Rear view of Fig. 5.
Museum Object Number: 29-94-12

Image Number: 847

The unburied corpse of Ma Loango, the King of Loango, in his burial hall, before the choosing of his successor, wore, among other marks of his rank, the purse shaped cap20—”the old-fashioned jelly-bag night-cap” of Burton.

The cap of the personage of Fig. 1 is of the jelly bag or long purse variety, having its loose or empty portion hanging down behind. An actual cap of this nature is worn by a figurine published in the Annales du Musée du Congo, Ser. 3, Vol. I, Fig. 446.

In Barbot we read that in the kingdom of Kongo, the “king commonly wears a white cap on his head; as do the nobility that are in favour; and this is so eminent a token thereof, that if he is displeased at any of them, he only causes his cap to be taken off from his head; for that white cap is a cognizance of nobility there.”21

There are several of these, or similar, caps in the University Museum, one being a particularly fine old example.

The cap, then, as a badge of sovereignty or nobility, was common to the kingdom of Congo proper and to the provinces or kingdoms formerly subject to or allied with it. According to Mary H. Kingsley,22 the cap of the Bantu Fjort [in Loango], like the stool in Ashanti, etc., was bound up with the conception of the ancestral property of the tribe, which was inalienable. In Loango, under the king, these caps were the special badge of the mifumu nssi, whose title and powers were closely associated with the land—the title meaning “lord of the land,” nssi being “the Mother Earth, with everything that lies in her, comes out of her, and goes back to her, including people, tribe, family, together with the ancestors.”23 The mifumu nssi thus embodied in themselves, as it were, the title of the tribe to the particular portion of Mother Earth where they exercised their authority. They were of the same caste as the king, and, like him, had power to confer titles and badges of rank, including the cap. The growth of wealth among people of no caste in particular brought it about that in many cases the latter came to overshadow the old ruling class who found it important, as they themselves declined in power and riches, to conciliate the parvenus. Chiefs of villages sought to enhance their own importance by assuming imposing titles, and by acquiring as gifts from the mifumu nssi caps, capes (woven of the same fibre as the caps), etc., as signs of rank; so that the villages became infested with mafukas and other petty notabilities.24

The mafuka, identified by Burton as “chief trader”, is one of these notabilities whose number has increased as their importance has diminished, so that Dennett refers to him as a messenger.25 In another passage, however, he explains the word as meaning ambassador,” a title given to certain rich natives.”26 In the time of Merolla, they were court officials of importance; he mentions one who was a member of the family of the Count of Sogno. Their original function was that of minister of trade and taxes, and they supervised the markets. In the early accounts we find that they had charge of foreign visitors who dealt with the kings, dukes, etc., through them.27

Fig. 2 is another wooden bell or rattle, the top or handle of which is carved to represent a familiar West African subject—mother and child in a posture which gives emphatic expression to the notion of motherhood—an important notion in Loango, where the freeborn mother as perpetuator of the family was highly regarded. The deity most called upon, Nzambi, is, according to Dennett, a mother goddess, who in legends carries an infant when she appears to men.28 Pechuel-Loesche, who does not agree with this view of the deity, yet names childbirth as a special occasion for the adjuration of Nzambi by women; while the first cry of the newborn, he says, is directed to Nzambi.29

A wood figure seated with crossed legs and resting its head on one hand
Fig. 8. — Figure showing evidences of employment in magic. Maritime region of the Congo.

The woman is sitting on her heels. This however is not the only position of rest adopted in that region. A Mayombe figurine published in Annales du Musée du Congo, Ser. 3, Vol. I, Fig. 465, represents a woman in the same position, which is seen again in Fig. 613. The latter is of a woman holding an infant in her lap; a double cross hangs from what appears to be a necklace on her breast. The combination awakes a suspicion that some, at least, of the mother and child statuettes may not be inspired by pagan notions. Fig. 462 shows a woman seated on a stool with an infant on her knees; while a statuette in the University Museum from this region presents still another resting posture, the crosslegged one of Fig. 8 in this article. The figurine last mentioned may be Mayombe, as will be seen.

The high importance attached to motherhood was indicated in various ways, and most conspicuously by providing a sort of common legal mother for the kingdom—the Makunda, coruler with the king, though not his wife and maintaining a separate court as a kind of sanctuary or refuge for fugitives. Those who sought her protection were adopted by her. The essential part of the ceremony of adoption consisted in the petitioner’s touching with his lips the breast of the Makunda. The essential importance of this gesture to the ceremony was shown by the fact that if a petitioner whom the Makunda was unwilling to accept succeeded in performing it in spite of her, the adoption was ipso facto binding.30

Neither of the objects, Figs. 1 and 2, can be positively identified as a fetish. In this region, and generally in the Congo, fetish figures are marked as such usually by having attached to them some extraneous substance, such as a paste compounded of clay or grease containing various ingredients which are the vehicle of magical power or influence. This may be applied to the head or some other portion of the figure, often the abdomen, which is frequently provided with a hollow to contain it. Bells and rattles, however, do play an important part in the ritual of fetishism.

An implement of the witch doctor or medicine man, which is briefly and somewhat ambiguously described by Barbot, suggests something of the kind illustrated here, but employed in the manner of a gong. Speaking of the people of Loango, Kakongo, and Goy (Ngoyo), he says: “They have particular masters to instruct them in the making these idols [fetish figures], and call them Enganga [Nganga] or Janga Mokisie [Nkissi], whose skill therein they much admire, and account them devil-hunters . . . The . . . solemnity [connected with the making of these fetishes] continues for the space of fifteen days . . . nine of which he must not speak . . . and may not clap his hands “—a form of recognition of a greeting—” if any salutes him; but as a sign of greeting, strikes with a small stick on a block in his hand, made sloping narrow at the top and in the middle hollow, and on the end a man’s head carved: of these blocks, this devil-hunter has three sorts, of different sizes.”31 The devil hunting referred to is the practice sometimes described as witch finding, or hunting out by the ngangas of persons responsible through witchcraft for the death or injury of members of the community.

Wood figure standing with hands tied behind its back, from the front
Fig. 9. — Figure of a captive. Maritime Congo region.
Museum Object Number: 20424
Image Number: 792

In describing the fetish bundles carried slung over the shoulder by chiefs or headmen, and which consist of all sorts of trifles, such as whistles, bits of certain kinds of wood, leaves of certain kinds of herbs, etc., not themselves fetishes, but employed in connection with magical procedure, Pechuel-Loesche speaks of bells which hang in the bundle and whose function is to give warning by their tinkling of the approach of harm.32 A fetish image of the Bayombe figured in Annales du Musée du Congo (Brussels), Ser. 3, Vol. I, Fig. 436, has a small flat iron bell of the shape of the lower portion of Fig. 2 attached to it.

In the person of Ma Loango, the king, were embodied certain potentially harmful influences of a fetish nature. When he drank a bell was rung as a warning that no one in his house should approach. To see him drink meant death; and no one must touch the leavings of his meals.33 In another passage Pechuel-Loesche speaks of “the priest (nganga) officiating with the sacred bell.”34

The prototype of wooden bells like those of Figs. 1 and 2, which in many cases, no doubt, were merely ornamental, was perhaps the plain wooden bell with several clappers which was suspended from the neck of a hunting dog to start with its rattling the game from the undergrowth in the bush, and to keep the hunter informed of the whereabouts of the dog itself.35 These dog bells were familiar objects; in the kingdom of Kongo their employment became enshrined in the proverbial wisdom of the people. So, according to the Bakongo proverb, “In the town that has no cat the mice play with the dogs’ bells,” shrewd comment on laxity in local government.36 The Museum has two such bells, part of the collection of the late R. H. Nassau, from the Ogowe River, north of Loango, which were “used by native doctors in incantations.”37 Wooden rattles were an important feature of the outfit of the witch doctors of Loango in their witch finding operations. This may be due to distorted recollections of Catholic ceremonial.

The marked difference in size between the occupant of the hammock (Fig. I) and his bearers is in keeping with the convention according to which, in the westward coast regions at any rate, personages of importance are represented in African sculpture as being of superior size to ordinary people. As far as the southern portion of the Congo is concerned, the convention has some basis in reality. In the country between Lakes Tanganyika and Mweru and the west coast, which is traversed by the great affluents of the Kasai-Sankuru river system and the upper Lualaba-Congo, there have been movements, apparently from the south, of conquering peoples of superior culture and ability which appear to be reflected in their physical characters. They established themselves as a ruling class wherever they came among the less advanced negroes who held the country before them, and set up powerful states governing 3arge territories. Physically they are characterized by their taller stature and less typically negro features, and the lands dominated by them are peculiarly rich in artistic products.

Wood figure standing with hands tied behind its back, in profile
Fig. 10. — Side view of Fig. 9.
Museum Object Number: 20424
Image Number: 794

The physical contrast between the two stocks is admirably brought out in Fig. 1. With the indifference characteristic of the negro artist to photographic exactitude of detail, the total effect of an impression clearly received and well differentiated in essentials is excellently conveyed. Regard the stumpy figures of the tipoya bearers planted on massive feet, the balanced curves of arms, one steadying the weight of the hammock pole firmly supported on the gross bulk of the bullet heads pressed down into the sturdy trunks; the slight backward tilt of the head of the forward bearer checked by the stubborn power of the bull neck, the downward thrust of the face of the other equally firmly resisted. The posture in either case is inevitably imposed by the stress of the heavy weight above and its position relative to the two supports and conditioned by their nature, not as inert blocks or posts but as living caryatids adapting themselves with suitable and instinctive flexions and checks to the burden they have to bear. What does it signify that the legs are kneeless, the arms elbowless, the whole musculature of the bodies absorbed into the significant compacted mass? Could the effect of actual compression under the superimposed weight, of compression firmly resisted with knees that will not buckle, be more impressively rendered by indication of articulations, by feet less monumentally foursquare, less massively cubical?

Compare this with the rather lank figure of the rider in the tipoya, impassive in his—somewhat precarious—ease, hands resting on the hammock pole to preserve his balance. There is a certain tension of the body, natural to the position of one who, if he cannot have complete ease with dignity, is content to sacrifice something of the former to his conception of the latter; which does not imply that the sculptor made this reflection—what irony or humour is apparent in such productions of the negro is, I believe, unconscious—only that he faithfully recorded an effect.

The natural physical characters of the two stocks, as distinct from the accidental conditions of their respective situations at the moment, are not less well marked. The exaggerated difference in stature is conventional; but the essential difference in build between the slender master and the relatively much burlier servants is none the less apparent. Even clearer is the distinction in shape and features of the head. The long face of the former with its long nose and not especially prominent mouth presents a marked contrast to the short round almost noseless faces of the latter with the protuberant lips the mass of which—in the case of the figure at the right—occupies almost half of the face proper, below the brows.

The general resemblance in the features of face and body of the woman in Fig. 2 to the principal character in the group, Fig. 1, indicate that she also may belong to the ruling class. She would naturally be so delineated if she is intended as the representation of a divinity.

Wood figure standing with hands tied behind its back, from behind
Fig. 11. — Rear view of Fig. 9.
Museum Object Number: 20424
Image Number: 793

There is much variety in coiffures in this region. At Nokki, just below the Cataracts, Burton noticed that “whilst the men affect caps, the women go bare-headed, either shaving the whole scalp, or having a calotte of curly hair on the poll… Some, by way of coquetterie, trace upon the scalp a complicated network, showing the finest and narrowest lines of black wool and pale skin.”38 The woman of Fig. 2, though from Loango, appears to have designed her headdress on some such pattern. It is probably, however, a cap, plaited of pineapple or palm fibre, and not an arrangement of the natural thick fleece. The Nokki women doubtless patterned their coiffure after a netted or woven cap of similar pattern.

The decoration incised on the bell or rattle proper of Fig. 2 shows interesting correspondences with elements of decorative design common to Benin, far to the northwest, and to the Bushongo on the Kasai, not so far to the northeast. These are the peculiar form of rosette seen in the centre of the square otherwise blank field, the single band of guilloche above this square and the two identical bands below it. This correspondence has been noted before in the case of Bini, or other West African, and Bushongo ornament; I do not know that Loango has heretofore been brought into this moot question of cultural contact. The double zigzag—divided by a straight line in the panel at the top of the bell, trebled in that nearest to the side of the central square, appears on the other bell modified by the coalescence of its opposed members into a series of continuous loops or rings. The tendency towards rounding off of the angles by which this chainlike effect has been reached is shown in the single zigzag of the lower border of the latter.

The fine head, Fig. 3, so broad and direct in execution, with its balanced combination of strong, firm, simple lines and curves outlining smooth and gently rounded surfaces, is also probably the work of a Loango sculptor. It formed originally part of what was probably a full length figure, having been severed from the body by a clean saw cut by the unknown collector.

The strong feeling of the sculptor for symmetry is interestingly shown in the manner in which he has accentuated the natural balance of the features. In the frontal aspect the ellipses of the eyes are repeated in the peculiar form of a double ellipse given to the mouth. Not content with this he has repeated the ridges of the eyelids by incising a second heavy double curved line within the true outline of each lip. In both cases, however, he has based himself on actualities. The well defined ridgelike outline of the lip proper may often be remarked in the negro face, and serves to make more noticeable the everted appearance of the lips. The semblance of a double bow with opposed peaks is often seen in children’s lips, and juvenile characters of this kind are particularly persistent in negroes.

Looking at the head in profile, a remarkable instance of this symmetrical repetition is seen in the bold curve of the ear repeated in the sharply curving salient of the line of the hair beside the temples, this second curve being reversed so that the two represent a perfect S. In this aspect of the head, too, the fore part of the sharply defined relief which represents the hair of the head is balanced by a similarly raised field along the line of the lower jaw, evidently intended to represent the not very luxuriant beard of the negro of this region. In the case of the occupant of the tipoya in Fig. 1, the head hair, appearing below the border of the cap, and the beard are represented in a similar manner, the two being in this instance continuous, however. The beard appears to be indicated in the same manner in one of three terra cotta figurines surmounting a grave ornament from the Bayombe, a forest people of the hill country east of Loango already referred to.39

small wood nude figure
Fig. 12. — Front and rear views of a small figure, probably the handle of a wooden bell or rattle. Maritime Congo region.
Image Number: 769

This feature and the peculiar backward tilt of the head, which is typical of the nail fetishes, so called, of Loango, are strong reasons for attributing this remarkable head to that region. In other particulars, also, it is related in technique to numerous examples of wood sculpture from the maritime district of the Belgian Congo, i. e. the country bordering on the river between the cataracts and the sea: the short nose with the high bridge, the shape of the mouth, and notably the peculiarly simplified form of the ear like an inverted 6 with a separately cut small cone or rounded boss for the tragus. All these features occurring in one specimen, though some, considered individually, might be found elsewhere, make the attribution to the maritime district practically certain; the combination of the first two, the posture of the head and the indication of the beard in the same way as the head hair make a good case for Loango. It is most likely the head of a nkissi, or wooden image charged by the nganga nkissi, or witch doctor who is guardian of the fetish, with its mysterious power.

Of these nkissi, “or wooden images into which nails are driven,” as they are found among the Musurongo, or people of Ngoio on the southern shore of the Congo estuary—the modern representatives of the former subjects of the “Count of Sogno”, once the ally and still earlier covassal with the lord of Loango of the king of Kongo—a short account is here quoted from Dennett.40 These nkissi are:

“Kabata, which is said to kill its victims by giving them the sleeping sickness.
“Nsimbi, that causes dropsy.
“Quansi, that infests [sic] them with a ceaseless itching. . . .
“The Nkissist [believer in nkissi] is robbed, and straightway he goes to the Nganga of Kabata, with an offering, and knocks a nail into the Nkissi . . . that the robber may be plagued with the sleeping sickness and die.
“Has he the sleeping sickness, the Nkissist goes to the Nganga, and, perhaps, confesses his sin, and pays him to withdraw the nail and cure him.”

This succinct account of the functions of the nkissi in Ngoyo applies fairly well to the nkissi of Loango also, of whom Pechuel-Loesche writes: “The completed ngilingili”—of which each has only one kind of activity or power—”whether made in the form of an image or not . . . is mkissi or nkissi, plural simkissi or sinkissi, exceptionally also bakissi, what we call fetish.”41 The essential nature of the nkissi, which includes, as we see, other forms of fetish besides those into which nails are driven, is thus not unlike that of the waxen figures employed by European practitioners of the black art, in which pins were stuck for the injury of the enemy represented by the effigy. The Museum has two of the nail nkissi at present exhibited, though it is not known to what special activity either was devoted.42

small wood figure, angular and crude
Fig. 13. — Unfinished figure, front and side views. Maritime Congo Region.
Image Numbers: 765, 766

What is in many respects the finest example of wood sculpture in this group is the baton, Figs. 5, 6 and 7, surmounted by a beautifully executed head provided with a ceremonial headdress of peculiar shape. Regarded simply as an essay in gracefully constructed design this head has great charm. The flat, broad plane of the crosspiece from which the neck rises is fitly balanced by the fine sweeping curves of the headdress above the high tapering forehead, and the strong shallow curve of the wide jaw provides an appropriate base for what would otherwise have been a topheavy superstructure. The flatness of this curve, also, answers to and justifies that of the summit of the edifice—as the. almost architectural character of the construction of the whole, with its free and spacious impressiveness out of all proportion to the actual size of the object, almost justifies the employment of terms descriptive of such constructions. The tall narrow curve of the forehead serves to lighten the general effect and to bind together the lower ends of the outer frame of the headdress, to which, otherwise, the flaring winglike appendages at the side of the head would tend to give rather a splayed appearance.

The treatment of the lips here is also interesting apart from the sureness of the designer’s instinct which has led him to exaggerate the natural length of the line of the mouth from side to side—one might almost say from ear to ear—to correspond to the long transverse line of the jaw, which the curve of the lower lip follows with careful precision. The effect of a double bow is got here, not as in Fig. 3, by repeating with an incised line the main outline of the lips, but by trimming the top of each ridge, the outer base line of which is a simple curve, into a sharp edge of the desired form.

The nose is of the same shape as that of the principal figure of the group in Fig. 1, but, like all the other features of this face, much more sharply cut and defined, affording an especially good example of the higher type of negro physiognomy referred to in connection with that group. As to the extraordinary height of the forehead, although here no doubt partly due to artistic license, this is a natural character of the type and regarded as beautiful. Speaking of the high forehead as an ideal to be attained by artificial means if nature has not been sufficiently complaisant, Pechuel-Loesche43 says: “Their foreheads are by no means ill formed and are heightened by shaving, because that conforms to their taste.” He is speaking of Loango, but the same is likely to be true of the southern part of the region, where a similar mixture of stocks has taken place, with, probably, a stronger proportion of the handsomer strain. The baton is from the country near Sao Paolo de Loanda, according to Mr. T. A. Joyce of the British Museum.

It is not easy to determine the use to which this baton was put. In an article devoted to the artistic criticism of carvings and implements of French Equatorial Africa, H. Clouzot and A. Level have published a similar baton without further indication of its provenience than that it is from the Congo. It differs in several details from the one pictured here, but its general form, including the flat crosspiece below the head, is the same. Without quoting their authority, the authors give the following brief account of the employment of these batons: “The short staves of authority (batons de commandement), which may be regarded as safe-conducts from one tribe to another, are surmounted by impressive small heads of severe and imperious expression, transmitting the order in a direct and lifelike manner.”44 Though this refers presumably to the French Congo, of which Loango is a part, it is suggestive of the custom followed in the latter country of entrusting to an envoy of the lord his staff, the symbol of his authority, as the credentials of the messenger, and, in a sense, his safe conduct. A similar usage prevailed in other parts of the old kingdom of Kongo, and it may be that the baton of Fig. 5 had some such function. Chiefs’ staves, however. were generally long and ornamented in a different manner.

Peschuel-Loesche45 speaks of “the rough or the carved symbol of the ancestor” which “is or was a piece of wood, a cudgel, in fine a rod, a hereditary staff. . . . Here and there it may have pleased someone to add to the principal and representative portion what was unessential, a whole figure.” He compares these sticks to policemen’s truncheons; they must therefore have been short and thus distinct from the long chiefs’ staves or sceptres. He saw them used in Loango as “important message and convoy tokens”; so that they had a function similar to the long staves as safe conducts, tokens of an accredited mission. Similar usages in connection with staves are reported from more southerly Congo regions, from which Pechuel-Loesche considers that the use of representations of the human form as fetishes reached Loango. This is conformable to Dennett’s view.

According to H. Chatelain46 a king’s sceptre, called mbasa by the Mbaka (Ambaca) of the Loanda district, “is a staff of choice wood, the thicker end of which is ornamented with sculptures or inlaid tin or silver.” He gives, however, no description of the “sculptures.”

M. Buchner47 has published a more elaborately carved baton of the same general plan as that in Fig. 5. He describes it vaguely as a “Kioko idol to be carried in the hand.” It is apparently the same as that pictured in Ratzel’s History of Mankind, in the coloured plate facing page 100 in Vol. III, and there described with equal vagueness as a “Baluba carved fetish.” What is evidently again the same thing appears in a recently published book on African sculpture48 with the title “Head on decorated headpiece, Vatschivokoe, Belgian Congo,” and said to be in the Berlin Museum of Ethnology, as also is the example published by Buchner.

The headdress of this figure of apparently uncertain provenience and of unknown use is described by Buchner as “mitrelike” and is used by him as an illustration of the far reaching influence of Portuguese civilization in western Africa.

Buchner notes the similar form of some of the headdresses in Benin bronze plaques, of one worn by the Kioko prince, Kissenge, whom he saw in 1879, of a “tall cap, negro work, covered with European cloth” which was collected “on the Guinea coast”; and he is of the opinion that the occurrence of a similar form in three different regions can only be due to borrowing from a common source—the Portuguese.

It is, of course, an undoubted fact that the negroes of the western Congo as well as on the Guinea coast had every opportunity to copy the form of ecclesiastical vestments and other objects used in Catholic ritual, and it is not unlikely that details of their fetish images, sometimes perhaps even the whole conception of an image or group, may have been influenced by this fact. Merolla, for example, records that a Giaghi leader seized and wore the vestments of a Dominican friar, one of the first three missionaries to the Congo, and he speaks of the wish of the ruler of an island near Boma to have the chasuble and silver patten of the negro priest Dom Francisco in order to make a coat and breastplate for himself.49 The Giaghi or Jaggas, of whom the early writers make frequent mention as cannibals and bold raiders of the territory of the old kingdom of Kongo, cannot be identified with certainty among the present inhabitants of the region, but it seems likely that they came from the southeast, and they may have been the ancestors of the Kioko, who are now to be found in the western part of the old Lunda empire, with the Vachibokwe, or Vatschivokoe. Merolla also50 relates of himself how he was, to his great indignation, invited to perform his Office in a native building having a cross before it, which building he found to contain an altar of “their execrable Cariabemba.”

The missionary F. S. Arnot, writing from Bihé in the interior of Angola, not far from the Kioko country, under the date of October, 1884, says that the only traces left in that country of the Portuguese missionaries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries or of their work “are a few Christian relics’ added to the heap of native charms, and, here and there, a wooden cross standing at the head of some pagan’s grave, sharing the ground with fantastic heathen images and symbols.”51 W. H. Bentley, missionary and explorer, speaks of a “large crucifix and some images of saints, . . . the King’s fetishes” in San Salvador in 1879, as well as of “a flat wooden cross . . . the common fetish which confers skill in hunting,” and of various fragmentary reminiscences of Christian teaching also, such as that this cross loses its efficacy if the possessor is guilty of any immorality.52

Despite all this, it seems extremely unlikely that the headdress pictured in Figs. 5-7 is copied from a mitre. In the first place a mitre is an elongated cap the bottom of which encircles the head. The high fore part of the headdress in Fig. 5 is merely, so to speak, a façade, attached to the front of the headdress, the rear part of which appears to consist of two rounded lobes fastened in the mid vertical line behind to a kind of keel, the whole rear portion fitting closely over the sides and back of the head, and each lobe being furnished with a wing which can be seen projecting from behind the tall front in Fig. 5. The construction of the headdress can be seen from Figs. 6 and 7. The only part of the contrivance which suggests, and that rather remotely, a mitre is the backward sloping frontal piece, and there is no real likeness here to the mitre of the western Church with its cleft and pointed summit. The headdress has to be looked at as a whole; when regarded from the side or rear the illusion of a mitre vanishes. It resembles much more closely the peculiar backward sloping upper part of the masks of the mukish dancers of the Minungo on the headwaters of the Kwango—the back country of the Loanda district—a feature which Buchner himself refers to an aesthetic motive, the exaggerated heightening of the forehead and crown of the head, seen also in the idols, so called, of the Kioko, as he says.

A headdress figured in the Album of the Leiden Ethnographical Museum previously referred to53 is evidently of a related type. Seen from the side, the strong backward inclination of the tall frontal piece of this latter headdress and its continuity with the relatively more prominent and differently shaped lower member of the back and sides disguise the relation; from a front view the resemblance is immediately and strikingly apparent. It surmounts a bearded head at the top of a baton described as the “badge of a chief”—an indication of employment which is suggestive in connection with what has been said about chiefs’ staves and truncheons. The portion of the otherwise round handle immediately below the head and thus corresponding to the broad crosspiece of Fig. 5 is fashioned to have a rectangular cross section, and decorated with combinations of straight and curved lines. This object is from Benguela, a district bordering that of Loanda on the south. A headdress of the same type as both of these, though it resembles Fig. 5 more closely, appears on a wooden full length figurine in the same Album, Plate 207, Fig. 2. It is attributed provisionally to Sao Paolo de Loanda.

Headdresses of a similar though simpler form are fairly common in the maritime region of the Congo. Such appear on two large Loango figurines in the University Museum, one of which was published in the MUSEUM JOURNAL, Vol. X, No. 3, Fig. 26 (the third from the right), and on a Mayombe figurine in the volume of the Annales du Musée du Congo [Fig. 455] which has been referred to several times. On the same page of the latter are shown also variants of the same type of coiffure.

The variety of indigenous forms of headdress in Africa is so great and their shapes so fantastic, that it is not necessary to suppose that these negroes are indebted to foreigners for a model which only remotely suggests an alien form. Resemblance to a bishop’s mitre of a headdress built up of the hair of the head has been noted in the far northern Congo region, among the Nsakara on the Mbomu River, outside of the territory of the Bantu speaking tribes who are spread all over southern Africa including most of the Congo basin, and beyond any reasonable suspicion of Christian influences at the period when the observation was made.54 If, among several other forms which have an upstanding or backward sloping portion with a similarly curved outline, it were necessary to seek outside of their own immediate surroundings a prototype of the headdress of the Minungo masks, of the Kioko or Vachibokwe “idols”, or of the object figured here, which is undoubtedly related to the latter and probably also to the former, resemblances just as striking as that alleged to relate them to the mitre can be found far inland; a mask, for example, in this Museum from the Bapindi on the middle Kwango —the back country of Loanda—in which the half oval of the superstructure is covered with a brown fibrous material simulating hair.55

This flat superstructure slopes far backwards, and in front of it, covered with the same fibrous material, is a continuation upward of the bulging forehead, the outline of which repeats that of the flat superstructure, and corresponds to the similar interior curve outlining the extraordinarily high forehead of Fig. 5. It is perhaps not without significance that the Bapindi mask appears to represent the head of a person afflicted with hydrocephaly, a condition which Buchner remarked among the “princes of the Muati Yamvo” (former head of the Lunda empire) and with which he seems to connect the artistic convention which he noticed in the wood sculpture of the Kioko and Minungo. It appears to have been artificially produced in Lunda: “By means of pressure before and behind the top of the head was forced upward, giving it a peculiarly diseased appearance, something like a person suffering from water on the brain (ein Wasserkopf), as being at the same time remarkably short and high.”56 Artificial deformation of the head is practised in the northern Congo.

The carefully executed and symmetrically arranged ornamentation, evidently an imitation of basket weaves, on the sides of the crosspiece of this baton (Fig. 6), and the equally careful thumbnail type of decoration of the front (Fig. 5), is at least from the point of view of symmetry, in striking contrast to the strange jumble of designs on the back (Fig. 7). These, if we may relate them to similar markings on objects from Loango, may be either symbols having a character similar to pictographs57 or merely some form of property marks.58

The remaining figures pictured here are from the country adjacent to the lower river between the Cataracts and the sea. Fig. 8 alone bears marks of employment as a fetish. The top of the head or cap is hollowed out and there is a cavity in the front of the body. It is at one or both of these points that such receptacles are usually prepared for the concoction of paste or gum which is the vehicle of magical power. The figure is of cruder workmanship than the rest; yet, making allowance for the characteristic disregard of natural proportions as shown for instance in the relative length of the forearm supporting the head and of the legs folded upon each other with a too plastic accommodation of curves to the mutual contact of parts, the posture is engagingly natural, even to the slight sidewise tilt of the head resting against the hand from which all detail of fingers is omitted. The difficulty in regard to the placing of the other forearm without complicating the composition by piling up too many limbs at the base or interfering with the arrangement for holding the fetish substance in the middle of the body is trenchantly met by leaving out that member altogether.

Considered in its possible relationship to certain fetish images from the interior which, by the principle of like cures (or influences) like, combat maladies through an imitation of their effects on the sufferer, this figure may perhaps have been, when duly charged with power, a toothache fetish. It is, according to Mr. Joyce, from the Chiloango River, along the upper reaches of which live the Bayombe, a backwoods people alluded to previously in connection with Fig. 5.

Fig. 9 is a much more carefully finished product. It represents the racial type more impressionistically set forth in the tipoya bearers of Fig. 1. This is a captive—Fig. 11, a rear view, shows his hands tied behind his back—destined no doubt for similar slave labour.

The coiffure, an arrangement, doubtless, of his own hair, shows the crest which in various forms is a favourite feature of hairdressing modes not in this part only of Africa. Often in negro sculpture the curves of the eyebrows coalesce with the line of the nose. In the case of this figure as in that of the head surmounting the baton, the hair of the eyebrows is represented by two distinct bands of flat relief, executed in the case of the latter with a delicate firmness and precision quite in keeping with the stylistic treatment of the other features of the face The transverse scoring of these flattened ridges in Fig. 9 intended to give an added touch of realism is a not uncommon feature of Lower Congo figurines. The gross bulk of the lips, the swollen appearance of the mucous surface of which is emphasized by the incision of a second line following the main contour, recalls the bulging mouths of the tipoya bearers, as the double outline recalls the similar device in Fig. 3.

Though the general resemblance in the physical characters of Fig. 9 and of the two supporters of the principal member of the group in Fig. 1 is striking—the great head and stocky body with short sturdy legs implanted on massive feet—there is in the former more attention to detail. This is so, not only in the case of the head, as we have seen, but also in that of the legs, knees and calves being indicated and the characteristic larkspur heels (Fig. 10), as well as ankles (Fig. 9). The extension down the back of the head of the sagittal crest of the coiffure ending in a transverse ridge at the nape of the neck recalls the keellike appearance of the back of the headdress in Fig. 7.

The curious small figure (Fig. 12) seated upon a post, with the fingers of both hands crammed into an enormous mouth, shows some of the characters alluded to in the cases both of the tipoya bearers and of Fig. 9, but resembles the former more closely in compact smoothness of general treatment. The rear view affords a remarkable example of the tendency previously remarked to seize upon and manipulate physical features so as to produce a pattern quite geometrical in appearance and yet not departing in essentials from the actualities of bodily conformation.

This figure is a broken portion of some object, perhaps the handle of a rattle. It is from the Lower Congo, the maritime district of the Belgian state.

Fig. 13, from the same region, an unfinished figure, showing nevertheless quite plainly the principal characteristics of similar finished figures, was evidently intended for a fetish: the protuberance in front of the body, between the hands, which are already sketched in (see the side view), being provided for the receptacle of power already alluded to. The marks left by the knife in rounding away the wood at the back and sides of the head may be compared with similar knife marks in the same position in Fig. 3, where they have been allowed to remain after the final smoothing and polishing, evidently to represent the hair. Fig. 13 is chiefly interesting as showing how the native woodcarver blocks out his work.

Though the objects dealt with thus far are all evidently from the region whose limits are indicated in the second paragraph of this article, the Museum has no original information as to their exact provenience or employment. The same is true of the other African objects to be published in Parts II and III. The opinion of Mr. T. A. Joyce of the British Museum, to whom sketches of several of these objects were submitted, has been followed as to the places of origin of Figs. 1, 3, 5, and 8.

1 Merolla in Churchill, Voyages and Travels, Vol. I, p. 720 ff. London, 1704.
2 George Grenfell and the Congo, H. H. Johnston, I, p. 78.
3 Benin und die Portugiesen, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, XL (1908), p. 990.
4 Grammaire comparée des dialectes de la famille tupi, Paris, 1896, p. 134.
5 S. v. tipoye, p. 90, Vocabularies méthodiques, etc., Bibliothèque linguistique américaine, Vol. XV, Paris, 1892.
6 Die Karayastaemme am Rio Araguaya (Goyaz), p. 11. Beiträge zur Völkerkunde Brasiliens, Veröffentlichungen aus dem Königl. Mus. f. Völkerkunde, Berlin, Vol. II, 1891.
7 A Curious and Exact Account of a Voyage to Congo, in the Years 1666 and 1667. By the R. R. F. F. Michael Angelo of Gattina and Denis de Carli of Piacenza, Capuchins, and Apostolick Missioners into the said Kingdom of Congo. Churchill’s Voyages and Travels, I, p. 620.
8 P.621.
9 A Description of the Province of Guiana, in Churchill’s Voyages and Travels, V, p. 554. This volume was published in 1732; the passage quoted was written before 1700.
10 Herckmann (ca. 1639) and Rovlox Baro (ca. 1647), quoted by R. R. Schuller, Zur Affinität der Tapuya-Indianer, Internationales Archiv fur Ethnographie, XXI (1913), p. 82.
11 Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo, Vol. II, p. 50.
12 H. Chatelain, Folk-Tally of Angola, Boston and New York, 1894, p. 265, note on maxila (palanquin).
13 Vol. II, p. 224.
14 Churchill, I, p. 628.
15 Merolla, op. cit., pp. 694, 695.
16 Volkskunde von Loango, Stuttgart, 1907, pp. 186 ff., p. 204.
17 Publications of the Royal Ethnographical Museum, Leiden, Ser. II, No. 2, Pl. 202.
18 Op. cit., p. 66.
19 At the Back of the Black Man’s Mind, London, 1906, pp. 19, 20.
20 Pechuel-Lolyche, p. 158.
21 Op. cit., p. 492.
22 West African Conceptions of Property, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, XXVIII, p. 195.
23 Pechuel-Loesche, p. 195.
24 Op. cit., pp. 203, 204.
25 At the Back of the Black Man’s Mind, p. 25.
26 Folklore of the Fort, p. 104, footnote.
27 Cf. Merolla, etc., in Churchill, passim; and Pechuel-Loesche, quoting the Abbé Proyart, p. 152.
28 The Folklore of the Fjort, p. 2 and passim.
29 Op. cit., p. 272.
30 Pechuel-Loesche, pp. 163, 164
31 Op. cit., pp. 477, 478.
32 Op. cit., pp. 367, 257.
33 Op. cit., pp. 143, 146.
34 Indiscretes aus Loango, Zeitschrift fur Ethnologic, X (1878), p. 26.
35 Cf. Peehuel-Loesche, Volkskunde, p. 120.
36 John H. Weeks, Among the Primitive Bakongo, Philadelphia, 1914, p. 82.
37 Note by R. H. Nassau.
38 Op. cit. II, p. 206.
39 Annales du Musée du Congo, Ser. 3, Vol. I, p. 237.
40 The Folklore of the Fjort, p. 138.
41 Pechuel-Loesche, Volkskunde, p. 353.
42 See Journal, Vol. XI, pp. 29, 42, 43.
43 Pp. 12, 13.
44 Afrique Equatoriale et objets d’usage, in La renaissance de l’art français et des industries de luxe. Paris, April, 1922, Fig. 2 and p. 224.
45 Pp. 399, 400.
46 Op. cit., pp. 211, 301.
47 Benin and die Portugiesen, Zeitschrift für EthnoIogie, XL, 1908, p. 988.
48 Afrikanische Plastik, Orbis Pictus, Vol. VII. K. Einstein, Berlin. No date.
49 Merolla, pp. 670-671, p. 724.
50 P. 725.
51 Garenganze, p. 119.
52 Quoted in George Grenfell and the Congo, H. H. Johnston, Vol. I, pp. 85, 86.
53 Fig. 3, Pl. 201.
54 H H. Johnston, George Grenfell and the Congo, II, p. 581.
55 MUSEUM JOURNAL, loc. cit., Fig. 32, side view, top row, right.

Cite This Article

Hall, Henry Usher. "Congo and West African Woodcarvings." The Museum Journal XIV, no. 1 (March, 1923): 47-84. Accessed April 15, 2024.

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