archeologists arrived in Africa and found elongated skulls, they sold out the idea that, the skulls represented “ALIENS” who built those sophisticated and advanced civilizations that were scattered all over Africa.

The elongated skull has been a part and parcel of the traditions of some African tribes, especially the Mangbetu tribe of the Congo.

Below is a mother and daughter from the Mangbetu tribe, in 1930 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Limpombo was believed to allow the brain to grow bigger thus increasing intelligence and it was also a sign of beauty.

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A mother and daughter

The Mangbetu are celebrated for their exquisite art and music, with the renowned Mangbetu harp or guitar symbolizing their cultural heritage. These prized instruments have fetched over USD$100,000, while musicologists strive to document their captivating melodies.

Further, Mangbetu captivated European colonists with their distinctively elongated heads, achieved through the traditional practice known as Lipombo. By tightly wrapping infants’ heads with cloth, they created a remarkable appearance that became synonymous with their culture.

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However, with the influx of Europeans and the spread of Westernization, this practice gradually declined from the 1950s onwards. Nonetheless, the unmistakable Mangbetu figures in African art continue to serve as enduring testaments to their unique aesthetic heritage


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