Considered a "bankishi", this sculpture would be endowed, in the Luba culture, with powerful magical and apotropaic powers. These objects come in different forms, including this female figure surmounting three superimposed calabashes. The posture, hands positioned near the breasts, reminds us that the secrets of royalty belong to women thanks to their role as political and spiritual intermediaries.
This object was used within the framework of the Bugabo association, linked to hunting, healing and combat.
It was customary during rituals to fill the calabash with magical ingredients in order to enhance its power. The ingredients used produced a sound when the object was shaken, and was only sealed at the end of the ceremony.
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