Mashitolo mwata Zola
Africa | ISSUE 02
and the Sculpture of the "Wise Man"
by Deborah Dainese
Carved in wood, the sculpture of the so-called “Wise Man of the Nativity Scene” depicts a male figure kneeling in the act of offering a small box and wearing a hat which recalls a mpu a nzim cap, used by Congolese chiefs to indicate social status. Registered in 1948 as part of the assemblage donated by the Belgian Jesuit Father Gustave Le Paige (1903-1980) to the AfricaMuseum (Tervuren, Belgium), the “Wise Man” provides the opportunity to shed light on its maker, the Congolese sculptor Mashitolo mwata Zola (1915-?). [...]Photo: Mashitolo mwata Zola, Sculpture of the “Wise Man,” 1943 Collection MRAC Tervuren (EO.1948.20.221) Photo J.-M. Vandyck CC-BY 4.0