African art > Statues > Statuette Hemba
Ancestor figure Singiti Hemba/Luba (N° 17861)
This statue of African art personifies a male ancestor. Carried by large feet established on a circular base, it is represented frontally in an assured attitude. The apparent sex marks the value of lineage and the hands are classically positioned on either side of the protruding abdomen named difu, or 'lineage segment'. The broad shoulders support a majestic head with carefully carved academic features. The headdress worn at the back of the head has a cruciform pattern. Speckled granular patina. Lack on the back of the base and on the front cap. Abrasions.
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The Hemba settled in southeastern Zaire. Once under the rule of the Luba, these farmers and hunters worship ancestors with effigies long attributed to the Luba.The statues singiti were preserved by the fumu mwalo and honored during ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. Parallel to the authority of the hereditary chiefs, secret societies, male such as the bukazanzi , and female, the bukibilo , played a large role within the clan.
(Source: Treasures of Africa, Tervuren Museum)
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|Origin||Collection privée belge V.C.|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Estimated dating||avt 1965|
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