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

Hemba fetish (N° 20349)

These bankishi (sing. nkishi ) carvings were used as part of the bugabo , a society devoted to hunting, healing, and warfare. A female figure, symbolizing the sacred relationship of woman and royalty, surmounts a calabash decorated with feathers. Dark oiled patina. The Hemba have long been subject to the neighboring Luba Empire, which has had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship is central to Hemba society. Genealogy guarantees privileges and the distribution of land. All aspects of the community are permeated by the authority of the ancestors. For example, the ancestors are considered to have influence over justice, medicine, law and sacrifice. Skilled in carving, the Hemba produced mostly statues of ancestors singiti , embodying chiefs, local warriors, or lineage ancestors whom they venerate in order to appease the spirits mizimus . A wide variety of ritual objects, fetishes, simian masks, calabashes, and others of daily use have made their fame.  

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Originex-collection Timerman
EthnyHemba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, plumes, calebasse
Height cm31
Width12 cm
Weight0.25 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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