‘Male Ancestor Figure’, ca. 19th Century, Tambaran

Hemba social structure and identity focused strongly on important ancestors,
resulting in a now noted series of serene, eternalized male figures, of which
this is a splendid example. "An ancestor figure was venerated by a specific

clan and was maintained by its members in a funerary house or in the chief's

house. The figure expresses the dependence of the world of the

living on that of the dead - and is thus a funerary and religious symbol - and indicates the ownership of land and the possession of social authority ... " (François Neyt in Susan Vogel, ed. For Spirits and Kings. African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981, p.217).

Ex-Private Collection, Belgium

Ex-Collection Kitnick, California

Ex-Collection Robert & Marianne Huber, Illinois

Ex-Collection John Paynter, Dallas (1977)

Ex-Collection, John Buxton, Dallas