African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Tschokwe
Statue Tschokwe (N° 14221)
This effigy of dignitary presents a ceremonial hairstyle adapted to his rank, traditional scarifications and organs raised with red pigments. The role of this statue would be associated with the initiation ceremonies of the young girls. It would also embody the notions of fertility that distinguish between childhood and adult life. In the luvale , Lwena, zambia, also close neighbours of the Chokwe like the Lunda, these initiation periods ended with festive rites: ritual anointings of oil and red clay on the bodies, elaborate hairstyles and beaded adornments.
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Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the empire Lunda from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwes never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of the Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwe did not have centralized power but great chiefdoms. They were the ones who attracted artists who wanted to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied and quality pieces that the Lunda court employed only them. The Lunda, a Bantu population, are now dispersed between southern R.D.C. (Katanga), northern Zambia, and eastern Angola.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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