Wall panel - Wood - Kenene - Pende - Congo DRC

Wall panel - Wood - Kenene - Pende - Congo DRC
Mid 20th century - Excellent

A Pende house panel. Those panel where put around the door of the village chief. on one side the portrait of the chief, on the other side an animal panel like a chameleon, and above the door a face symbol half animal half human called Pania Gombe.

This panel was found in the house in Antwerp of a deceased lady who collected in the 1970's when in Congo.

H= 68 cm

b-w image by Léon de Sousberghe 1959 Pende house-NMAfA-EEPA_1999-010-0169 at National Museum of African Art.

Léon de Sousberghe caption reads, " Porte de case cheffale à Nianga (Kasaï)." Translated original accompanying caption reads, " Chief's ritual house door at Nianga (Kasaï)."

De Sousberghe photographed door-panels at Nianga (Eastern Pende). Architectural figures flanking the door of the chief's ritual house (kibulu) appear as both men and women. They represent the chief's personal guard, and serve as spirit sentinels concerned with the chief alone while the rooftop sculpture, resting on the ritual pole, functions primarily to protect the village. These door-panels are called kenene among the Eastern Pende and pego among the Central Pende. Also, although the Panya Ngombe mask has almost vanished, sculptors continue to represent it in the lintel of the door to the chief's kibulu. This is a mask of prestige, signaling that the owner of the house belongs to the highest order of chiefs.

Lot details
Wall panel
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Congo DRC
Mid 20th century
Sold with stand
68×23×8 cm
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