Symbol of power, this African statue glorifies the ancestor and mythical hero founder of the ethnic group, Chibinda Ilunga. The chiefs had a major function in the rites of propitiation intended for the hunt and the fertility of women. The repeated application of castor oil and coloring vegetable decoctions gave the sculpture a dark lustrous patina.
Minor desication cracks.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power.
Three centuries later, they ended up seizing the capital of the Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé did not have centralized power but large chiefdoms. They were the ones who attracted artists wishing to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied pieces and of such quality that the Lunda court only employed them.
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