feminity, fertility

In non-western cultures, female effigies often incarnate ancestors.

In connection with the spirit world, of which they are guardians, they also represent goddess-mothers or goddesses who can be wild, protective, bearers of wisdom, noble or hieratic, graceful or sensual, and which are usually symbols of fertility.

With regard to the portrayal of motherhood, a recurring theme in African art, this refers to the idea of continuing the family or clan lineage, and to the transmission of knowledge.

  • Hooks

  • Anthropomorphic sculpture

  • Commemorative effigy

  • Ceremonial cloth

  • A Maam man attacking a pregnant woman

  • Statuette depicting a mother and her child

  • Statuette depicting the goddess Kankalinmata

  • Manasa, the goddess of snakes

  • Anthropomorphic mask

  • Anthropo-zoomorphic mask

  • Motherhood

  • Motherhood

  • Helmet mask

  • Female statuette

  • Cup bearer

  • Shadow puppet, Sita under her tree

  • Ritual doll

  • Chalchiuhtlicue

  • Anthropomorphic statuette: motherhood

  • Hunchback female figurine

  • Female figurine

Statuette depicting the goddess Kankalinmata

Statuette depicting the goddess Kankalinmata

Statuette depicting the goddess, India, Bastar, Early 20th century, bronze, dim.: Height 35cm width 24cm, Ancient collection of Christophe Niemoller, 70.2000.1.41.1-4

The statuette is a tribal portrayal of the goddess, with two armed attendants and her vahana (Hindu vehicle), the tiger. This representation evokes the creative and destructive aspects of the goddess via the portrayal of the qualities of female fertility and by the presence of the goddess’ vehicle in its terrible form (Kâli), the tiger. The face and body of the goddess mirror the features and finery of the women throughout the tribal areas of this region in north east India. The halo which surrounds the goddess is characteristic of the bronzes of this region.