TRIBAL AFRICAN ART
NTOMBA (LONTOMBA, NGATA, NTUMBA, TOMBA)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The 5,000 Ntomba live on the banks of the Lualaba River. Historically, the Ntomba had an appointed leader, but today they live in autonomous farming communities. Ntomba artists carved large anthropomorphic coffins, called Bondange, covered with painted decoration. They were commissioned by important dignitaries and contained the exhumed bones of the deceased. Later, the sarcophagus and the bones were consigned to the river. Ngata blacksmiths cast iron knives, which are used for executions. They produce also figures, although their function is unknown.
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