Linden-Museum Stuttgart State Museum of Ethnology
D-70174 Stuttgart / Germany
Curator Dr Hermann Forkl
figure, Yombe (Angola), late 19th century.
Nailed figure; wood, partly blackened and painted in red and white, iron, resin,
cowrie shells, vegetable fibre, porcelain; Yombe (Angola), late 19th century; h
Photo: A. Dreyer
A look around the African section makes it obvious that
the "Black Continent" is not homogenous, but is composed of different
culture areas. Ethiopia, with its old Christian tradition, the Cameroon
Grassfields with their divine kingdoms, and many other areas are presented. The
reconstruction of a market scene in the Nigerian Sahil shows modern daily life
with both its traditional and Western influences. In addition, there are
collections made many years ago that illustrate the arts and crafts of
traditional kingdoms, as does the antique metalwork from Benin in southern
Even today, traditional structures often underlie the daily life and politics of
African states. An understanding of such structures leads to a better
comprehension of present-day events in Africa.
Curator: Dr. Hermann Forkl
mask of the Badunga league, Vili, kingdom of Loango (Congo-Brazzaville), 19th
In Kikongo, badunga means ‘masked people’ and is the
name of a society of men who were given police powers by the king to fight
sorcery and uphold morals. The mask, in which the spirit of a powerful Loango
king took up residence, was combined with a coat of duck feathers or banana
leaves. The decoration of mirror glass was presumably meant as protection
against witches and witch doctors, who on seeing themselves in the mirrors would
have fled in fright. The use of mirror glass here again was probably a formal
borrowing of European reliquary busts possibly introduced by Catholic
missionaries in the Lower Congo from the late fifteenth century onwards.
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Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart
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