African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lulua Fetish
Lulua Fetish (N° 15076)
The different types of statues Luluwa, Lulua, or Bena Lulua, presenting multiple scarifications, glorify local leaders, motherhood, fertility and the female figure. This sculptural art has been subject to the influences of neighbouring ethnic groups (Chokwe, Luba, Kuba, ...) By the position of the hand of the character the gaze is directed towards the abdomen embellished with transdtional motifs in relief, center of the body and " object of all solicitudes" ( The Power of the Sacred , M. Faïk-Nzuji ) Diamonds, erogenous and symbolic protruding scarifications, checkered circles and rectangles embellish strategic parts of his anatomy. This very detailed statuette presents a glossy patina with reliefs thinned by the use, revealing the subtle veining of the wood. Top growths of high braids rise from the headdress.
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It is in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo that the Lulua, or Bena Lulua, from West Africa, have settled. Their caste-based social structure is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few masks, but especially statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, mulalenga wa nkashaama, as well as the head of the Leopard Society and statuettes mbulenga related to the spirits of nature. (Black African tribal art. JB Bacquart)