Wood, nice patina, residues of red powder, showing King Bope Mabinshe (ruled 1939-1969), holding a ceremonial knife in his left hand, head crest and shoulder rings as signs of royal dignity. Each ndop depicts a particular king who is identified by a particular object associated to his reign. The king is always portrayed in the prime of life with no physical imperfections, since it was believed that the king's health and well-being reflected the state of the nation. During the king’s life his ndop served as his double. The statues were kept in the living quarters of the royal wives who took care of the ndop as if it were the king himself. They provided fertility and substituted the king during times of absence. When a royal woman was about to give birth the statue was placed next to her to ensure the save delivery of the baby. When a king died, his "ndop" figure was brought to his deathbed in order to transfer his vital force on the statue.
Slightly damaged, fissures, slight traces of abrasion.
H: 60,5 cm (24 inch).
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Regional & Ethnic Antiques