This woman wants to make a cooking fire on three stones but there is no pot to be seen; her husband has apparently brought no food. With this pot lid, a woman could subtly complain about a lazy husband.
It is possible that, from the end of the 19th to the start of the 20th century, such masks had a link with important hunting brotherhoods. Later on, in the 1970s, these masks danced to encourage fertility and the well-being of the community. These masks would have also had female counterparts.
Several sculptors of Lower-Congo made this kind of realistic bust in the academic style. Such pieces were quite successful amongst Europeans and, in the 1950s, fetched a much higher price than numerous masks and statues of the "ethnographic" type.
Surprisingly, the most common mammals in the montane forest are bats. In the canopy, the straw-coloured fruit bat feeds on the juice of fruit and the nectar of flowers. They play an important role in the pollination of many plant species. During the day, they sleep in colonies of several dozens to hundreds of thousands of animals; they become active during dusk.
African musical instruments are often much more than just objects that produce sound. This slit drum or 'talking drum' is in fact a means of communication, a voice that conveys messages between the villages of an particular community. The village drummer transforms spoken language into rhytmic codes.