African art > Mask > Luluwa Mask

Grand Mask Luluwa, Lulua (N° 17575)

The Lulua, or Béna Lulua from West Africa, settled in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their caste-based social structure is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few masks, but especially statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, mulalenga wa nkashaama, as well as the head of the Leopard Society and statuettes mbulenga related to the spirits of nature. Despite Kalamba Mukwenge's attempt at the end of the 19th century to eradicate traditional cults by using autodafés, the religious system was maintained, such as the fertility cult tshibola. The Luluwa's distinctive eye-watering face is accompanied by the warrior's headdress and a sculpted beard divided into five braids. Curvilinear and keloid patterns in lozenges alternate on the surface. Light abrasions, red ochre and kaolin highlights.
Selon Rik Ceyssens in Congo Masks (p.156 . . . M.L.Félix) and as evidenced by the sketches of H.M.Lemme who accompanied Frobenius on his travels in Congo, this model of loop scarifications was then widespread in various Luluwa subgroups in 1905. The Bakwa also had this type of tribal scar. (Tribal art of black Africa. JB Bacquart Umbangu, Art of Congo at the Royal Belgian Cogo Museum Ed. Cultura.)  

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OriginCollection monégasque
EthnyLulua
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height40
Depth21
Width17
Weight1.18 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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