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

Katatora Hemba divination figure (N° 20261)

Instrument of divination used by the diviner during divination rituals to establish, according to him, contact with the ancestors. Incorporating the category of nkisi, nkishi objects, it is supposed to be endowed with a secret power, a receptacle of spiritual energy.
The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, have long been subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which has had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of privileges and land distribution. All aspects of the community are permeated by the authority of the ancestors. Thus, they are considered to have influence over justice, medicine, law, and sacrifice. Among the Luba, Songye and Hemba, this type of object related to divination kashekeshekeest named katatora and lubuko. According to François Neyt, the object was carved from a wood ( kibekwasa )with magical properties. During the interview, the ring was caught by the diviner and his client, who would slide it on a mat or headrest in response to the questions asked ( producing the sound "kashekesheke", "extraction of the truth").  

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OriginEx-collection néelandaise
EthnyHemba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height26
Width12
Weight0.45 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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