African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Tschokwe figure
Figure of chef Chokwe Chibinda Ilunga (N° 18702)
Ex-collection German African art.
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The carved effigy, opposite, glorifies the qualities of hunter, mythical hero and founder of the ethnic group, Chibinda Ilunga. The chief, with oversized palms and feet, has an impressive noble headdress. Easily recognizable thanks to this large headdress with curved side wings (cipenya-mutwe), he had taught his people the art of hunting. This work is distinguished by its various finely chiseled details. Originally, the patinas were obtained through the repeated application of castor oil and coloring vegetable decoctions. Brown mahogany reflections highlight this Chokwe statue. Very good condition.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the sixteenth 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 Chokwé never fully adopted these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, the Chokwé eventually seized the capital of the Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé did not have centralized power but large chieftaincies. They were the ones that attracted artists who wanted to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied pieces of such quality that the Lunda court employed only them.
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