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Carved wooden statue, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1880-1910

The wooden figure shows a man with one over-sized foot. It is likely that this represents the condition elephantiasis. Elephantiasis is a rare disorder of the lymphatic system in the human body. Inflammation of the lymphatic vessels causes extreme enlargement of the affected area. This item is thought to have been made by the Basonge tribe of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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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: pathology

The branch of medicine concerned with disease, especially its structure and effects on the body.

Glossary: inflammation

The body’s response to injury. An inflammation is marked by redness, heat, pain, swelling, and often loss of function. The process leads to the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.

Glossary: elephantiatis

No description.