This female figure's beautifying scarification and gleaming skin, maintained by regular applications of palm oil and powdered tree bark, embody the Lulua aesthetic of buimpe, moral and physical beauty manifested by the quality of one's skin. The elongated neck, prominent navel and powerful legs further express Lulua canons of ideal human form. This idealized figure, which is associated with a maternity cult, was created to attract and contain a protective ancestral spirit to safeguard a woman's pregnancy and to continue to protect the newborn and growing child.


  • Title: Maternity Association Figure
  • Date Created: 19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w76.2 x h480.06 in
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Purchase: Nelson Gallery Foundation, Purchase: Nelson Gallery Foundation
  • Medium: Wood and pigment
  • Culture: Lulua peoples

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps