The age of this cult statuette is certainly great and the style of the carving indicates an ancient origin in the rolling, forested hills of East Central D.R.Congo. Known as 'kakudji', these half-figures functioned as protection devices on a personal level rather than for a family or community. The shiny, heavily worn and softened features are accentuated by the deep, rich, varied, brown patina. Hollow through the middle, possibly for ritual purposes, all of its 'charges' which made the figure potent were removed long ago. The figure stands 10 7/8" H x 3.25"W. Late 19th/very early 20th century. Provenance: Bart Family collection, NYC and FL, 1950's. A haunting and essential early example.