African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statuette Chokwe
Statuette Chokwe (N° 17718)
This statuette, symbol of power, would feature the mythical ancestor founder of the ethnic group, Chibinda Ilunga wearing his impressive adornment. This type of figure, represented without the hunter's accessories, is called mwanangana (chief statue). Easily recognizable by this ample headdress with curved side fins (cipenya-mutwe), he had taught his people the art of hunting. Skate rather clear, dull, abraded. Slight cracks.
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Paisiblely settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwé never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of the Lunda, weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé had no centralized power but great chiefdoms. They were the ones who attracted artists who wanted to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied pieces of such quality that the lunda court employed only them.
Ref.: Chokwe Ed. 5Continents. B. Wastiau.
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