African art > African Statues > Statue Lulua
Luluwa ancestor figure (N° 19141)
Used in the rituals associated with the cult buanga bua bukalenge , this male figure representing an ancestor bears abundant facial and body scarification, a common practice in late 19th century Central Africa.
These marks were signs of beauty with symbolic value, revealing extraordinary physical and moral qualities. The concentric circles suggest not only great stars, but also hope. " These statues of warriors, whose right-angled arms would be associated with vigor, participated in the investiture and funeral of chiefs. Scaled granular patina. Cracks of desiccation.
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Lulua Lulua is a generic term, referring to the large number of heterogeneous peoples that populate the region near the Lulua River, between the Kasai and Sankuru Rivers. The Lulua people migrated from West Africa during the 18th century and settled in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). They number 300,000 and live in small regional chiefdoms and in times of crisis they elect a common chief. The role of the village chief is to ensure political, legal and social cohesion. During the late 19th century, the Lulua culture underwent radical changes. In 1875, King Lulua, Kalambam, introduced new social and religious rules, which put an end to the traditional consumption of palm wine and the ban on smoking hemp. They produced few masks, but mostly 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.
Ref. : "Initiates, Congo Basin". Ed.musée Dapper; " African art", Kerchache
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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