African art > Maternity, statues, bronze, wood > Luena statue

Chokwe Lwena maternity figure (N° 21510)

Sculpture related to the Hamba type of therapeutic cult, embodying a female ancestor, also the second wife of the mythical chief Chibinda Ilunga, who is associated with fertility and healing. These figures were arranged around the muyombo altar, a tree at the foot of which sacrifices and offerings were once performed. Also associated were carvings such as figures made in sticks or poles (Mbunji or mbanji ), planted in the ground. Related ethnic groups had this same type of altar, a witness before which rituals, oaths and important transactions were concluded.
The figure that also illustrates the second wife of the mythical chief Chibinda Ilunga sports a domed hairstyle like a helmet and metal ornaments.
Smooth patina, desiccation cracks.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwe were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwe never fully adopted these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, the Chokwe eventually took over the capital of the Lunda, which had been weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwe did not have a centralized power but rather large chiefdoms. It was these chieftainships that attracted artists who wished to put their skills at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied pieces of such quality that the Lunda court only employed them. Source: "Chokwe", B. Wastiau  

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OriginEx-collection britannique
Height cm46
Width11 cm
Weight1.35 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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