Kebe-Kebe puppet portraying Elvis Presley, “The King” - ROM2010_11686_9


Kebe-Kebe puppet portraying Elvis Presley, “The King”

Maker: Unidentified artist or workshop, Kuyu style
Medium:Wood, paint
Geography: Democratic Republic of Congo
Date: before 1966
H. 39.8 cm, W. 14.4 cm, D. 13.7 cm
Object number: 2009.126.2
Credit Line: Donated by Esther Amrad Dagan in memory of her daughter Halit, and in homage to unknown African artists
On view
Gallery Location:Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific
DescriptionKebe-kebe puppet heads are held by the handle below the neck. Puppeteers perform behind a stage, enclosed by cloth. A tent-like costume disguises the puppeteer’s arm. These kebe-kebe puppets were made by Kuyu artists for a Gabonese theatre troupe. They embody two characters of a play, in which a bead trader seduces the young wife of the village chief. This puppet reproduces features of rock idol Elvis Presley, suggesting an ironic and global understanding of the notion of “king”, most appropriate for the mid-1960s.
Global Africa
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