African art > Head rest > Luba Headrest
Luba Shankadi Headrest (N° 18770)
The Luba are renowned for their refined statuary and famous in particular for their neck rests and stools made up of a caryatid figure. The seated figures, embraced, leaning on their feet, symbolize Luba royalty. The neck rests protecting the headdresses during the night were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. The figures embody the spirit of an ancestor, vidiye and have a cascading hairstyle in the Shankadi style. Oiled patina, orange reflections, residual ochre inlays.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, hence the name (Baluba, which means "the Lubas"). They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership of Ilunga Kalala, who had the old king Kongolo, venerated since then in the form of a python, die. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in decentralized chieftaincy, which extended from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without real border that includes at most three villages.
Source : "Luba" F. Neyt
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