African art > Statues > Statuette Luba
Statuette Luba Mikisi (N° 18481)
This female Luba effigy, combined with a role as a spiritual medium, has features engraved in a face facing upwards. Her headdress, behind a headband revealing a traditionally shaved forehead, is similar to one of those worn by Luba women at the beginning of the 20th century. This sculpture reminds us that the secrets of royalty (the bizila) belong to women through their role as political and spiritual intermediaries. The rhombe scarifications on the abdomen, horizontal on the lower abdomen, are inscribed in relief. Smooth, satin patina.
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The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so the name (Baluba, which means the Lubas). They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership of Ilunga Kalala who killed the old king Kongolo, who has since been revered as a python. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in a decentralized chiefdom, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without a real border that includes no more than three villages.
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