African art > Chair > Luba Seat
Tabouret à caryatide Lupona / Kipona Luba/ Hemba (N° 18561)
A kneeling female figure forms the receptacle of a deceased sovereign leader (Luba, Roberts). It supports the circular tray whose center is eroded. The scarifications of the female figure, protruding, on spikes, surround the umbilical, the centre of the world. associated with lineage, and those of the lower abdomen, horizontal, symbolize fertility. This stool named lupona , or kioni or kipona, kiona, according to the sources, constitutes the meeting point of the sovereign, his people, and protective spirits and ancestors, where symbolically and spiritually past and present mingle. It was once the seat on which the king was inducted mulopwe. The seats were arranged on leopard skins at the inauguration of the new leader. It was only after sitting there that his address was royal and divine. Apart from these exceptional circumstances, the seats were not used and remained stored in secret locations. Satin black brown patina, locally grainy. Lacks at the base.
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The cradle of the Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) is the Katanga, specifically the Lubu River region. They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group. In the 16th century they created a state, organized into decentralized chiefdoms, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without a real border that includes no more than three villages. Source Africa, The Art of a Continent Ed. Prestel Luba F. Neyt.
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