Babembe Sculpture
  • Imprint: 5 Continents Editions
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2010
  • Price: $90.00
  • Trim Size: 9 12 x 11
  • ISBN: 88-7439-544-2
  • EAN: 9788874395446
  • Page Count: 212
  • Illustrations: 110 full-color illustrations
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Rights: US & Canada

Richly illustrated, this monograph is the first devoted to the work of the Babembe people, who live on the banks of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their anthropomorphic statues, carved from wood, are characterized by incisions representing tattoos, scarifications, or skin decorations that the Babembe use during initiation ceremonies. These striking works, many of which have never been published before, are adorned with fabric, tools made of horn or stone jewels, and eyes made from faience or shell. The works represent ancestral spirits who link the sculpture’s commissioner with super­natural forces of the Babembe’s animist religion. Here, scholars analyze the aesthetic quality, style, and meaning of each fascinating sculpture.

About the authors

Raoul Lehuard studied at the Sorbonne, founded the magazine Arts d’Afrique Noire, and is an expert in the art of the Congo.


Daniel Klein, a collector of African and pre-Columbian art, is one of the creators of the new museum of pre-Columbian archaeology (the Casa del Alabado) in Quito, Ecuador.


Alain Lecomte is a gallery owner and African art critic.