Figure | kabeja

Hermaphroditic double Figure, 1930 - 1980

About the object

The double figure, made of relatively heavy wood, consists of male and female counterparts. The latter is characterised by branded and somewhat larger breasts, finer facial features and an altogether narrower face, the former by a schematised penis. The mouth, eyebrows, hands and feet of both halves of the figure are accentuated by branding. The continuous hairstyle, indicated by a blackened plate, is interrupted by a circular hole, approx. 4 cm deep and slightly raised. The figure shows sign of relatively little use. The kabejas, to which these Janus-faced and often bisexual double figures are referred, were the property of clan chieftains and were used in ancestor worship, but also in fertility ceremonies. They may also represent a pair of ancestors. The circular hole on the top of the head is used to contain magical substances. Author: Michael Schönhuth

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