African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba Head

Hemba ancestor head (N° 15083)

This cephalomorphic sculpture presents the features of the Hemba statuary, half-closed eyes in an ovoid face, frontal tiara composed of alternating bars, sophisticated cruciform headdress. The face has delicately sculpted features highlighted by a raised pattern featuring a thin beard collar. Usually made in iroko, these objects were revered by a particular clan and stored in burial facilities in the chief's house.
Mate dark brown patina. Abrasions, Slit on the nose.
The Hemba have long been subject to the neighbouring Luba empire which has had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. The cult of ancestors is central to Hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of privileges and the distribution of land. All aspects of the community are imbued with the authority of ancestors. Thus, they are considered to have an influence on justice, medicine, law and sacrifice. Mastering the sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mainly produced statues of ancestors singiti , embodying leaders, local warriors, or lineage ancestors that they venerate in order to appease the spirits mimimimius . A wide variety of ritual objects, fetishes, simian masks, gourds, and others of daily use have made their reputation.  

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Originex-collection suisse
EthnyHemba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height35
Depth19
Width19
Weight1.60 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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