African art > Usual african items > Luba rattle
Luba rattle (N° 9094)
Ex collection Of Belgian African art. Exhibit collected 'in situ' 1949.
Thusit is a luba rattle consisting of three hollowed-out gourds placed on a stem surmounted by a small monoxyle figure placed on a circular base.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, hence 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, the Luba created a decentralized, organized state of chiefdom stretching from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika.
The chiefdoms cover a small territory without a real border that includes no more than three villages. However the different chiefdoms are linked by trade. The prominent figures of this Luba monarchy are the kings Kongolo, Kalala Ilunga (16th century) and the successors Kasongo Nyembo and Kabongo. The Balubas often split, giving birth to the Bena-Lulua and the Lunda. Thus the Mwata Yamvo, Emperor Lunda was born to a Luba father, and Moses Tshombe, one of his descendants, is therefore also of Luba origin.
The Baluba did not know private property: the notion of selling land came with colonization.