African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Luluwa Hearts
Call Trumps Bena Lulua, Luluwa (N° 19794)
Various prestigious objects were sculpted by the Lulua, such as these horns sculpted with a figure of a couple in the round, hunting or warrior ancestors. The decorative motifs are based on traditional scarification marks. These marks were signs of beauty with symbolic value, revealing outstanding physical and moral qualities. The concentric circles suggest not only the great stars, but also hope. Dark satin patina.
Lulua is a generic term, referring to a large number of heterogeneous peoples who inhabit the area near the Lulua River, between the Kasai and Sankuru Rivers. The Lulua people migrated from West Africa during the 18th century and settled in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). They number 300,000 and live in small regional chiefdoms and in times of crisis elect a common chief. The role of the village chief is to ensure political, legal and social cohesion. During the late 19th century, Lulua culture underwent radical changes. In 1875, the Lulua king, Kalambam, introduced new social and religious rules, which ended the traditional consumption of palm wine and the ban on hemp smoking. They produced few masks, but mostly statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, mulalenga wa nkashaama , as well as the chief of the Leopard society and statuettes mbulenga related to nature spirits.
Ref:"Initiates, Congo Basin". Ed.musée Dapper; "L'art africain", Kerchache
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