African art > Statues > Statue Luba

Luba statue carrying cup (N° 17439)

Sculpted in the style of the workshop of the Master of Buli, this figure embodies a crouching medium equipped 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 who followed during the rituals also used it. The eyelids of the characters embodying the spirits are invariably closed, giving them a peaceful interiority.  The woman is depicted wearing a tiara, like the neighbouring Hemba, separating the shaved forehead from the oiled hair. These were collected in a structure built around a copper wire frame. These statuettes were ritually oiled in homage to the ancestors. Golden light brown patina, mate. Erosions, cracks.
Selon P. Nooter these figures also represented the wife of the soothsayer, which underlines its importance in the process of divination 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 the royal power.
The Luba were mainly established in the Upemba Valley and along the banks of the Lualaba.
Ref.: Luba Roberts Luba F. Neyt, ed. Dapper Museum.)  

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OriginCollection Prodhomme
EthnyLuba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height70
Depth40
Width34
Weight9.00 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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