African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Comb Luba
Comb Luba (N° 22838)
Belgian African art collection.
The African tribal art proves to us once again that any everyday object can become an artistic medium. The decorative aspect of an object is indeed never its intrinsic function. In African art, any everyday object can be transformed into a masterpiece while retaining its usefulness. The major role held by women in the political life of the kingdom is illustrated by the recurrence of the female motif in Luba art. The latter, which stood out for its prestige and quality, therefore greatly influenced the neighboring groups. This comb is surmounted by a protective effigy embodying a political and spiritual intermediary, a role played by women in Luba royalty. Her headdress, behind a wide band revealing a shaved forehead, evokes one of those worn by Luba women at the beginning of the 20th century. The secrets of royalty (the bizila) were held by women thanks to their role as political and spiritual intermediaries.
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