African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Luba sceptre
Luba sceptre (N° 22488)
This type of emblem of power incorporated the regalia of dignitaries as they traveled. True sources of information on their owners and local history, the scepters display a varied iconography.
The wide part at the top, the dibulu, bears engraved patterns of parallel lines forming diamonds. These drawings are found on the mnemonic boards lukasa referring to Luba political and spiritual history.
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In order to reinforce the royal symbolism, a feminine figurative motif, sculpted in the round, symbolizes the female mediumistic capacities. The attitude, hands on breasts, indicates that the secrets of Luba royalty (the bizila) belong to women thanks to their role as political and spiritual intermediaries.
Semi-gloss two-tone patina, desiccation cracks, erosions.
Ref. : "Crosscurrents, Art of the southeastern Congo" J. Pemberton.