African art > Statues > Statue Luba

Luba Cutting Carrier (N° 16634)

Voyante with a gourd or cut mboko , which was filled with kaolin, and which symbolized purity and the spiritual world. 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 eyelids of the characters embodying the spirits are invariably closed in a delicately shaped face, giving them a peaceful interiority.  The kneeling figure is depicted wearing a tiara separating the shaved forehead from oiled hair. These were collected in a structure built around a copper wire frame. These statuettes were ritually oiled in homage to the ancestors. Here the patina matte and velvety, abraded locally, some accidents. According to P. Nooter these figures also represented the soothsayer's wife, which underlines its importance in the divination process bilumbu .  According to some Luba, however, although a woman, she would represent the first soothsayer Luba, and would also be an allegory of royalty linked to the powerful society of the Mbudye associated with royal power.

The Luba were mainly established in the Upemba Valley and along the banks of the Lualaba.
Ref. In: "Luba" Roberts, "Luba" F. Neyt, ed. Dapper Museum.)  

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Originex-collection Jaspart
EthnyLuba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height29
Width10
Weight0.50 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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