African art > Usual african items > Oracle Songye
Oracle de divination Luba/Songye Katatora (N° 17617)
This African sculpture is a tool used by the soothsayer during divination rituals in order to communicate with ancestors. Incorporating the category of objects nkisi , nkishi , it is supposed to be endowed with a secret power, receptacle of a spiritual energy. The Luba, like their neighbors Songye, use this type of objects related to the divination kashekesheke named katatora and lubuko. According to François Neyt, the object was carved from wood (kibekwasa ) with magical properties. During the interview, the ring was caught by the soothsayer and his client, who dragging it onto a mat or headrest in response to the questions asked (producing the sound of 'kashekesheke', 'extracting the truth'). The figurative motif here consists of a miniature of the kifwebe female mask of the mask company bwadi ka bifwebe. A magical charge was once present in the opening at the top. Satin patina claire.br.
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The Luba, or Baluba in Tchiluba, are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so 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 they created a state, organized in a decentralized chiefdom, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without a real border that includes no more than three villages. Source: Luba, Roberts.
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