Wood-carved, standing figure with knees slightly flexed, prominent gentalia, naturalistic face, pointed beard and eyes inset with a white material, probably small ceramic fragments. The feet are missing. It wears a metal ring around its neck, and a string with metal fragments, glass beads and a small metal bell is attached across its chest, from arm to arm. A vertical crack on the front right side of the figure is filled with a gauzy material.
This well-worn figure may have started its life as a mukuya--a figure commemorating a clan ancestor--and was later converted into an nkisi, or power figure. Such repurposing of an important ritual object was not uncommon in the wider Bakongo region, where ritual specialists used figures like this one to invoke the power of ancestors as well as other spiritual forces to intercede in human affairs.
The vase uses Shigaraki clay and the wood-firing process. The deformities and imperfections are intentional, and in Iga style. It has a lopsided lip edge at the top, with a deep indentation circling the vase just below it. The texture of this piece is splotchy and ridged, and the colors are earth tones, ranging from tans to dark, forest greens.
This is a flower vase made at the kiln in Shigaraki.
Terracotta-colored plain weave silk with woven pattern of paired ducks within lozenge-shaped floral scrolls; brocade done in thick white, light blue, and apricot silk floss; turquoise and purple-metallic-wrapped threads; and kinran (metallic coated paper) in two shades of gold.
Tatsumura Silk Studio fukuro obi featuring a Central Asian motif of paired ducks.
TOP IMAGE. On the bottom right appears a river, with at least three boats moored against her banks. Along the shore, in the central bottom area of the image, is a large groups of figures, potentially a local market area. In the center of the image is a plank bridge with figures carrying bundles, and the bridge (ramp) leads from the center to the top left, where it connects with a large brink palazzo-type structure. In the central background stands a large thatched and planked group of dwellings. A pile of barrels fill the bottom left corner.
BOTTOM IMAGE. A three-arch stone bridge with crossing figures spans the image from center right edge to the bottom left corner. Underneath pass small rapids with rocks. At the bottom right corner is a group of three, perhaps with a fishing pole; the left and right figures kneel, while the central figure stands with pole in hands, pointing up. A cross - perhaps a medieval pilgrimage marker - stands at the left-hand end of the bridge. On the right-hand side behind the bridge are tall stone pediments, perhaps dwellings or fortress-like walls. A distant part of the river and its structures can be seen in the left-hand corner.
TOP IMAGE. A genre market scene on the banks of a river, with houses and architectural structures.
BOTTOM IMAGE. A three-arch bridge over small rapids with travellers and fisherman. Architectural structures in the background and on the remote river banks in the bottom left corner.
A dome-shaped cermaic lid for a bowl. Outfitted with a mushroom-shaped handle with a hole in the center. Carved details around the bowl are two circles, one smaller than the other, with a striped triangle pattern.