This female sculpture is also associated with royal secrets. The secrets of royalty, bizila, belonged to women thanks to their role as political and spiritual intermediaries. The forehead is exposed by the traditional shave, and she wears a sophisticated hairstyle made up of braids and copper wires. The so-called "ear-shaped" scarifications, "tactile mnemonic code", cover the abdomen and lower abdomen, highlighting the volumes and the projecting umbilicus. The speckled patina is velvety.
Grainy matte and velvety patina, desiccation cracks.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, thus the name (Baluba, which means “the Lubas”). In the 16th century they created a state, organized as a decentralized chiefdom, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The Luba have two types of figures: the mikisi mihasi , embodying deceased relatives or spirits, and the mikisi mihake , sculptures offering a magic charge, in the head or the abdomen, in order to solve a problem.
( Luba , Roberts, 5 Continents; "Treasures of Africa" ed. of the Museum of Tervuren).
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