Mashitolo mwata Zola, Sculpture of the “Wise Man,” 1943 Collection MRAC Tervuren (EO.1948.20.221)

Mashitolo mwata Zola and the sculpture of the "Wise Man"

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-?).

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