African art > Statues > Statue Luba
Luba box board (N° 18815)
This case panel frames a sculpted female figure referring to Luba royalty. Embodying deceased parents bakishi or spirits bavidye , "Mvidie" intermediaries between god and men, the figures of Luba women are usually adorned with keloid scars in relief on the body, specific to the Kongo clans. These make it suitable to capture the energies of dead kings as dictated by custom. The elected woman then took the title of Mwadi and came to take up her functions within the royal residence. Becoming then the king himself, she could not marry. The Mwadi institution ended in 1970.
The Luba ( Baluba in tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely 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 had the old king Kongolo, venerated since then in the form of a python, die. In the 16th century they created a state, organized as a decentralized chieftaincy, which extended from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without real border that includes at most three villages.
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