African art > Statues > Statue Luba Hemba

Hemba maternity statue (N° 13427)

This statue of African art Hemba, whose characteristics are close to Luba creations, personifies a female ancestor. Established on short, stocky lower limbs, in a discarded position, it is depicted perched on the back of a character, slave or subjugated enemy. There is a peaceful assurance of this effigy, which is both associated with the statues by the beard collar, an attribute of the male ancestor. Witness to lineage, the protruding umbilical named difu, or 'lineage segment' is highlighted by petal scarifications. A majestic head with carefully carved academic features is reminiscent of the works of the Master of Buli. The headdress worn at the back of the head has a cruciform pattern.
The Hemba are a subgroup of the Luba ethnic group living in southeastern Zaire, east of the Lualaba River, best known for their statuary representing chiefs. 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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Originex-collection belge
EthnyHemba
CountryRDC
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height74
Width18
Weight2.00 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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