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Luba Cup Carrier (N° 17377)
The divination cups in African tribal art
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Statue depicting a woman in a kneeling position wearing the cup mboko , a calabash filled with kaolin, symbolizing purity and the spiritual world, and whose visitors to the king were doused out of respect. These containers were used by different Luba societies, more generally by the mediums of the divination society Kilumbu, Bilumbu, or by the healers of the society Buhabo. The soothsayers Mbudye also used it. The bust of this female figure sports the diamond scarifications that the Luba love, while a complex headdress recalls that formed of braids organized around metal structure. His eyelids are closed in a delicately patterned face, giving him a peaceful interiority. According to P.Nooter these figures represented the wife of the soothsayer, which underlines its importance in the process of divination bilumbu .
Medium brownpatine revealing the delicate veining of a light wood. Erosions, shards and slight desication cracks.
Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so the name (Baluba, which means the Lubas). They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership of Ilunga Kalala who killed the old king Kongolo, who has since been revered as a python. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in a decentralized chiefdom, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without a real border that includes no more than three villages.
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