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Neighbors of the Mbala, Yaka, and Pende, the Hungaan were renowned for their work in iron and ivory, but little is known about the function of their distinctive wood figures. Some may have been protective spirits; others may have had a role in healing practices. This figure on short thick legs...

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First quarter of the 20th century until about 1978, said to have belonged to the family of a missionary, Belgium; about 1978, sold by this family to a private collector, Belgium. 1988, Marc Leo Felix (dealer), Brussels; May, 1988, sold by Felix to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1994, year-end gift of Mr. and Mrs. Teel to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 25, 1995)

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

African, Hungaan peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 20th century

Object Place

Republic of Congo


60.96 cm (24 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment


Africa and Oceania