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Wooden statue showing childbirth, Angola, 1801-1900

Carved from wood, this statue shows a woman giving birth standing up. A gourd is suspended from a cord around her waist. Carvings that depict childbirth are rare in Angola, where this statue was made. Many spiritual agencies are invoked to promote healthy childbirth and most woman-and-child imagery is created for this purpose.

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Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: childbirth

No description.

Glossary: gourd

The ornamental, hard-shelled fruit of a vine.Hollowed gourds can be used as a number of things, including bowls or bottles.

Glossary: fertility rites

Rituals and ceremonies, usually with magical or religious overtones, which attempt to tame the unpredictable forces of nature to ensure a plentiful supply of food or the birth of healthy children or, very often, both. They may take the form of prayers, chants, dances and the performing of sacred dramas.