African art > Chair, palaver seat, throne, stool > Luba stool
Luba Kipona prestige stool (N° 21473)
Sacredness of carved seats, regalia of prestige, in primitive African art. A caryatid, a female figure depicted standing with arms raised, supports the rectangular aluminum-plated tray. The female figure is the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign chief"( Luba, Roberts). This tabouret named lupona, or kioni, kipona, kiona, depending on the source, constitutes the meeting point of the ruler, his people, and the protective spirits and ancestors, where past and present are symbolically and spiritually intertwined. It was once the seat on which the king was enthroned. The seats were placed on leopard skins during the investiture of the new chief. It was only after sitting on it that his speech took on a royal and divine character. Apart from these exceptional circumstances, the seats were not used and remained stored in secret locations.
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The cradle of the Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river. They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group. In the sixteenth century they created a state, organized in decentralized chieftaincies, that extended from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chefferies cover a small territory with no real borders, and include no more than three villages.
Source "Africa, The Art of a Continent" ed. Prestel; "Luba" F. Neyt.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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