African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kalunga Envelopes

Buste janiforme Bembe/Boyo Kalunga (N° 17263)

Two large concave orbits house cabochon pupils surmounting a hollowed-out diamond in the mouth. The whole thing is worn by a neck widening at the base. The owl scares, to which the bembé masks also refer, would have inspired this type of sculpture made in various formats and depicting the kalunga spirit. These sculptures held by each lodge master played a role in the rituals of passage during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami, but also probably in fertility rites.
Clear Patine with kaolin and ochre clay residues. Cracks.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch line that is believed to have left Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendency are influenced by neighbouring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region: the Lega, the Buyu, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring for society but while the Bwami was exclusive to the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe, such as the Elanda societies and Alunga.Au the Bwami, and the role of art objects such as masks and statues was to help aspirants of the highest rank to remember the moral rules they had to know and apply. According to Marc Léo Félix, the Bembé also worship the spirits of nature bahomba, rivers and mountains maseko, and Lake Tanganyka Mkangualukulu Litt. : " Insider, Congo Basin Ed. Dapper Museum.  

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Originex-collection italienne
EthnyBembe
CountryRDC
Material(s)wood
Height cm32
Width11 cm
Weight0.85 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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