African art > Fetish > Pnaier Tschokwe
Chokwe Divinatory Basket (N° 16829)
Tool accompanying the divination sessions, the basket ngomba ya chisuka , mutungu or even ngombo ya kusekula is made in basketry by women from a certain type of shrub. If it is here hemmed with feathers, genette or weasel skins are also used. Attached to the center, around a miniature representation of the mask pwo relating to fertility, various symbolic elements ( tuphele ) relate to the representation of the world for the consultant: figurines composing scenes, skulls and bones of mammals, large shells cornus, fragments of mirrors. Small statuettes and darts will be added, and with each jolt of the basket, depending on the arrangement of the objects, the soothsayer will interpret the answer to the questions asked of the Hamba spirits.
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Paisiblely settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwé never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of the Lunda, weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé had no centralized power but great chiefdoms. They were the ones who attracted artists who wanted to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied pieces of such quality that the lunda court employed only them. Within the Chukweé society, hunting and cultivation lands were provided by King mwana ngana.
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|Material(s)||vannerie, os, plumes, wood|
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