African art > Tam-Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Sanza Hemba

Sanza Hemba (N° 22415)

Very common in Central Africa, this musical instrument or sanza with a cephalomorphic motif here symbolizes a "singiti" ancestor. The object offers a sound box carrying metal slats. The thumbs of both hands will rest on the soundboard to vibrate the front ends of the tongues to produce the sound.
Satin brown patina, abrasions and desication cracks. Erosions on the posterior face.
Height on base: 40 cm.
The Hemba have long been subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which has had a certain influence on their culture, their religion and their art. Genealogy is the guarantor of privileges and the distribution of land. All aspects of the community are imbued with the authority of the ancestors. They are considered to have an influence on justice, medicine, law and sacrifices. Mastering sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mainly produced statues of singiti ancestors, embodying chiefs, local warriors, or lineage ancestors whom they venerate in order to appease the spirits mizimus .  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal
Height cm30
Width12 cm
Weight0.85 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle includedYes

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