African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Luba
Ancestor figure Luba Shankadi (N° 19710)
Ex-German African art collection.
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Female figure used by various Luba societies, more generally by members of the bambuye , bakasandji , or batambwe societies. The soothsayers Mbudye also used it. It was, individually or collectively, to consult the spirits of the ancestors through specialists. The figure has so-called diamond-shaped scarifications on the bust, a broad head surmounting a high, narrow neck like the bust. Its hands rest on proportionally reduced legs. The layered hairstyle is said to be of the Shankadi type, a Luba subgroup.
Black satin patina, slight abrasions from use. Chipping on one foot.
According to P. Nooter, these figures, seated or kneeling as the case may be, also represented the diviner's wife, emphasizing her importance in the process of divination bilumbu . According to some Lubas, however, although a woman, she would represent the first Luba diviner, and would also be an allegory of royalty linked to the powerful society of the Mbudye associated with royal power. ("Luba" Roberts.)
The Lubas (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of central Africa.
Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu River, thus 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, who has since been venerated in the form of a python, die.
In the sixteenth century they created a state, organized in decentralized chieftaincies, which extended from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chieftaincies cover a small territory with no real borders, and include no more than three villages.
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