African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Hemba Stick

Hemba Stick (N° 23727)

In African art, headdresses, seats, arms, crowns, cups and drinking horns constitute a set of objects, the regalia, which surround the chiefs and accentuate their authority. Emblem of power and prestige, this fly swatter is surmounted by a singiti ancestor figure.

Dark brown lustrous patina.
The Hemba, established in the south-east of Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, were for a long time subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which had a definite influence on their culture. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to Hemba society. All aspects of the community are imbued with the authority of the ancestors. Thus, these are considered to have an influence on justice, medicine, law and sacrifices. The singiti statues were kept by the fumu mwalo and honored during ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. Alongside the authority of the hereditary chiefs, secret societies, male such as the bukazanzi, and female, the bukibilo, played a major role within the clan. (Source: "Treasures of Africa, Tervuren Museum; "Black African Tribal Art" J.B. Bacquart; "Congo River", F.Neyt)  

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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyHemba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, crin, raphia
Height cm38
Width4 cm
Weight0.42 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xxeme
Socle includedYes

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