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

Luba figure (N° 21183)

Ex-French African art collection.
Kneeling female figure, with the hollowed-out calabash mboko which was filled with kaolin symbolizing purity and spiritual world, and which the king's visitors smeared out of respect. According to P. Nooter, these figures represented the wife of the diviner, which highlights its importance in the process of bilumbu divination.
The healers of the society Buhabo and the soothsayers Mbudye also used it.
According to some Luba however, although a woman, she would represent the first Luba seer, and would also be an allegory of royalty linked to the powerful society of Mbudye associated with power royal. Satin patina, desication cracks.

The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, thus 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 in the form of a python. In the 16th century they created a state, organized as a decentralized chiefdom, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory with no real border that includes at most three villages.
Ref. : "Luba" Roberts, "Luba" F. Neyt, ed. Dapper Museum.)  

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Originex-collection française
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm30
Width11 cm
Weight0.80 Kg

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