African art > African Statues > Statue Lwalwa
Statuette Lwalwa, Lwalu (N° 14314)
This tribal statuette has a head with the features of the Nkaki mask, whose busted nose evokes the beak of the calao. A pointed chin completes the concave face. The pupils are pierced in the center of the eyes simply drawn. This sculpture participated in fertility rites and ceremonies supposed to appease geniuses, mediating spirits between the group and their ancestors. The detail of the digitized hands and feet brings a neat note to this piece characterized by a beautiful balance between the width of the shoulders and the lower limbs, at the back between the relief of the shoulder blades and the pelvis. Beautiful dark patina, sained. Very slight cracks and abrasions.
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The Lwalwa live between Angola and Zaire, between the Kasai River and the Lweta. Historically having a matrilineal society, the Lwalwa , or Tukongo angola, after being influenced luba and songye, adopted a patrilineal system within their rudimentary political and social organization. They worship the spirits of hunting and nature. The male mask nkaki, carved from the wood mulela, is one of four types of masks produced by the privileged caste formed by their sculptors. These craftsmen, according to their merits, can become conductors and organize dances, including the balango, dance with acrobatic choreography. These masks are then displayed, or worn during initiation ceremonies, or to soothe the spirits after an unsuccessful hunt.
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