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Containers such as this one integrate human features into an elegant object of personal use. Superb craftsmanship affirmed the owner's status, wealth, and aesthetic sense. Interlocking strips of bark form the central hollow core, while the wooden legs and uplifted face are carved in the round....

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1890s, acquired in Africa and became part of the collection of Firma J. F. G. Umlauff, Hamburg. June 10, 1988, sold by Maurice Bonnefoy (dealer), New York and Garennes-sur-Eure, France, to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1992, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Teel to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 23, 1992)

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

African, Mangbetu peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1890s

Object Place for Label

Democratic Republic of the Congo


39.37 cm (15 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, bark, vegetable fiber


Africa and Oceania