The sculpture called “O Pensador” is one of the most beautiful statuettes of Tchokwe origin, today constituting a reference of Angolan culture and a symbol of national culture.
This sculpture represents the figure of an elder who may be a woman or a man, conceived symmetrically with the face slightly tilted down, expresses an intentional subjectivism because, in Angola, the elderly occupy a privileged status representing wisdom, the experience of long years and the knowledge of the secrets of life.
It is said that the statue has its origin in the northeast of Angola where there is a divination basket (ngombo), and the diviner uses small figures, carved in wood to determine the luck of the querent curiously, it was these figurines that came to inspire the famous national figure. The thinker is a figurine normally made of wood and is known among the Tucôwe of eastern Angola as “Kuku” Kuku supposedly characterizes an old woman, sitting with her elbows on her knees and hands on her head (as if she was thinking) . It is believed that its oval shape is associated with the connection of Man with the forces of nature.
This statue has a great link to the prayers of diviners for being one of the countless amulets that were used for divination or according to traditions, to invoke spirits of the ancestors who gave answers to them. Due to the enormous elegance and beauty that this unique piece possesses, it has been attributed a cultural and economic value by our country, thus becoming one of the national cultural symbols, as the statuette was accepted as a symbol of national culture in 1984, and economic because it is one of the elements of authenticity of our currency. Today, you can buy these statuettes in galleries, shops and craft fairs, in different dimensions and materials, as a souvenir from Angola.
Source: Destinos em Angola