Object 23

Kanyange, artist sculptor from Buhunde, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo
Statuette of King Albert I (Albert.Bula Matari. Wabelges), ivory, 1933
Ivory figurine depicting King Albert I in the uniform of Lieutenant General of the Belgian Army
Souvenir offered to H. R. H. Prince Leopold, 1933
Royal Museum of Central Africa
Inv. HO.1954.1.19


Boula Matari
De name gives to this statuette is ‘Boula Matari – Wabelges’.
Literally, the Kikongo Boula Matari means ‘stone crusher’ – in other words, ‘he who goes through everything’. It’s an old expression that referred originally to Stanley, then to the colonial authority, its agents and by extension, statuettes of the King of the Belgians (here Albert I) and statuettes of colonists.



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