TRIBAL AFRICAN ART

WONGO (BAWONGO)

Democratic Republic of the Congo

 The 10,000 Wongo live in the Kasai district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These people migrated from the north and are scattered among villages led by chiefs and structured by secret societies. They farm maize and manioc. The Wongo are not formally part of the Kuba cluster, though they share features of the cultural and artistic life of their neighbors. They have a fine tradition of craftwork in woodcarving, as well as in raffia weaving and embroidery. Wongo artistic traditions reflect the influence of Kuba realistic features, Pende-type masks and Lele-style adzes. The Wongo make several styles of cup for drinking palm wine, including some in human form, which are often characterized by numerous body scarifications.

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