African art > Statues > Statue Lulua
Warrior figure Bena Lulua. Luluwa (N° 17744)
This male figure representing an ancestor, hunter or warrior, has abundant facial and bodily scarifications, a common practice in central Africa at the end of the 19th century. These marks were signs of beauty of symbolic value, revealing extraordinary physical and moral quality. Concentric circles suggest not only the great stars, but also hope. " These statues of warriors, whose right-angle arm position would be associated with vigour, participated in the investitures and funerals of the chiefs.
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Black brown Patine.
Lulua is a generic term, which refers to a large number of heterogeneous peoples that populate the area near the Lulua River, between the Kasai and Sankuru rivers. The Lulua people migrated from West Africa in the 18th century and settled in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). There are 300,000 of them living in small regional chiefdoms and in times of crisis they elect a common leader. 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 especially statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, mulalenga wa nkashaama , as well as the head of the Leopard Society and statuettes mbulenga slied to the spirits of nature.
Ref.: Insiders, Congo Basin. Ed.Dapper Museum; " African Art, Kerchache
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