Zande (Azande)


The Zande people is originally from Sudan but migrated during the 18th century to the northern part of the DR Congo, where they settled on the banks of the Uele River, where they occupy a region of Savannah and forest. Zande men hunt and fish while the women tend the fields. Zande sculptures represent ancestors or animal figures with simplified features and enlarged heads. The mani association celebrates the importance of women and uses statuette called yanda. These statues are associated with the highest rank of the secret mani society. The figures protect society members from the dangers of illness, hunting, evil spirits, etc. Usually female figures are made from wood or fired clay; yanda figures often wear accessories, such as bead collars, pendants, and coins.

Maternity figures are also known, they are stylized and refined objects: neck-rests, flyswats, ivory horns, and musical instruments such as drums, sanzas, and curved harps decorated with a head and ending with a pair of legs. Masks are rare.

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Fine Tribal & Modern Art Gallery