A fine representation of a Kuba Ndop king.
Provenance: Gaethan Schoonbroodt, Verviers.
Height: 52 cm
Condition: Wood, dark Honey Patina. Some little cracks all around in the wood.
Inscription on base: " Ukenco Roi de Pakuba Congo-Kasai "
An ndop is an officially commissioned wood portrait figure of
a specific Kuba king—originally only one ndop was produced for
Ndop were also given as gifts to visiting dignitaries or purchased
by visitors like the ethnographer Emil Torday (Fig. 2). The ndop
figure became well known in Europe after four collected by Torday
were put on display at the British Museum.
In the 1950's the catholic mission started the Nsheng/Mushenge school of carving where Africansz learned to carve the Kuba Ndop figures again. When the art school began to actively produce a large quantity of artwork in the early
1960s, the king and the priests created a cooperative in which the artist received 90% of the selling price of the artwork.11 The king also passed laws setting minimum values and forbidding artists to undercut those prices (Vansina 2010:294).
B/w ill. : Kuba Ndop kings. Herbers, 1959
Color photo: - Kuba sculptor carving a ndop, Mushenge, Congo (Democratic Republic), [slide] 1972 This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignement for National Geographic Film and traveled to Africa from January 19, 1972 to mid April 1972.
- Mushenge Art School, Mushenge, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1972 ©Eliot Elisofon