Janiform fetish sculpture kabeja, also used among the Luba, and among the Kasongo who call them kakuji. The top is hollowed out in order to receive the bijimba, a load composed of magical elements from the natural, human and plant environment. Each clan had a kabeji sculpture intended for protection and healing. But this type of fetish could also be reserved for individual use.
Grainy matte patina, drying cracks.
The Hemba form a subgroup of the Luba ethnic group living in the southeast of DR Congo, east of the Lualaba River, and are especially renowned for their singiti statuary representing chiefs . Formerly under the domination of the Luba, these farmers and hunters practiced ancestor worship by means of effigies long attributed to the Luba.
Their society brings together several independent family clans descended from the same ancestor. Clan chiefs have sculptures confirming their rank and prestige, to which offerings and libations are dedicated.
Source: Art and life in Africa, C D. Roy. and “The other face” ed. Adam Biro.
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