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African art - Hemba:

The Hemba are an ethnic group established in south-eastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba River. They practice agriculture and hunting. For a long time they were subjugated by their neighbours, the Luba, and inherited some of their religious, cultural and artistic practices. The Hemba worship the ancestors and thus give them great power in the areas of justice and medicine. In addition, they honour them through statues of them. The Singiti statues were glorified during ceremonies and sacrifices. Outside, they were guarded by the fumu mwalo. The Hemba chieftaincy is organised according to heredity. However, secret societies have a great deal of decision-making power within the village. These include the female bukibilo society and the male bukazanzi. The Hemba have produced many everyday objects but also masks and statuettes. Their works are highly valued.


Hemba Kihona stool
African art > Chair, palaver seat, throne, stool > Hemba stool

Supporting a circular tray with her fingers placed in a fan shape, a female figure sculpted in the style of the "master of Buli" forms the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign chief" (Luba, Roberts). The prominent scarifications, in spikes, dot the bust where the umbilicus forms the "center of the world" associated with lineage, and on the lower abdomen, horizontal, they symbolize fertility. This stool named lupona ,or kioni or kipona , kiona and again kitenta ("seat of authority"), according to the sources, constitutes the meeting point of the ruler, his people, and the protective spirits and ancestors, where past and present are symbolically and spiritually mixed. It once formed the seat on which the king mulopwe was enthroned. The seats were laid out on leopard skins during ...


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390.00

Masque Hemba Market Muntu
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Hemba Mask

The spirit of a primate is embodied in this African Hemba mask with a wide grin. Dark patina, residual crusty inlays.
Only two types of Hemba masks have been identified: an anthropomorphic type with regular features, whose pointed chin is reminiscent of statuary, and those depicting monkeys, the soko mutu, whose functions remain little known, but which probably belonged, according to J. Kerchache, to the bugabo and bambudye secret societies. The smallest specimens (about 20 cm) would have been carried in the hand during rites intended for the protection of the home and for fertility. In addition to the janiform kabeja statuettes, the statues of male ancestors, kept by the hereditary chief of each clan, the fumu mwalo, are called songiti. The Hemba settled on the vast ...


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140.00

Soko mutu Hemba Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Hemba Mask

The spirit of a primate would be embodied in this hemba mask split with a wide rictus. The prominent forehead houses long eyelids, wrinkled by the grimace. A long nose extends vertically. Mate surface, rough, residual ochre deposits.
Only two types of Hemba masks have been identified: that of an anthropomorphic type with regular features, whose pointed chin recalls statuary, and those depicting monkeys, the soko mutu, and whose functions remain little known, but which probably belonged, according to J.Kerchache, to the secret societies bugabo and bdambudye . The smallest copies (about 20 centimetres) are said to have been carried by hand during rituals intended for the protection of the home and fertility. In addition to the kabeja janiform statuettes, the statues of male ancestors, ...


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140.00

Ancestor figure Singiti Hemba/Luba
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statuette Hemba

This statue of African art personifies a male ancestor. Carried by large feet established on a circular base, it is represented frontally in an assured attitude. The apparent sex marks the value of lineage and the hands are classically positioned on either side of the protruding abdomen named difu, or 'lineage segment'. ...


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290.00

Effigy of royal ancestor Hemba Singiti
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba statue

This tribal art hemba sculpture commemorating a local chief, an intermediary between men and the gods, stands out with its haughty bearing, long ringed neck, and bulbous abdomen. The body is tilted backwards, the position of the head with carefully detailed features, showing the pride of the ancestor. Velvety patina, desiccation cracks.

Usually made of iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in a funerary room in the chief's house.
Dull grayish brown patina. Desiccation cracks, and numerous erosions.
The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire on the right bank of the Lualaba River, were long subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which had a definite influence on their culture, religion, and art. Ancestor worship, ...

Hemba Singiti statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba statue

A local chief's effigy believed to facilitate contact with tutelary spirits, the African statuette Hemba, opposite, was originally attributed to the Luba. Hemba clan leaders had several ancestor statues that they venerated, and to which they dedicated offerings in order to establish their legitimacy. The attitude is classical, hands resting on a protruding abdomen, symbol of lineage. The cruciform headdress is delimited by a wide sculpted band like the beard. Light brown patina with ochre residue. Desiccation cracks. The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire on the right bank of the Lualaba River, were for a long time subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been ...


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350.00

Hemba Singiti Statuette
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba Statuette

This Hemba sculpture of modest size, an effigy of a local chief, was originally attributed to the Luba. It was supposed to facilitate contact with the tutelary spirits. Hemba clan chiefs had several statues of ancestors that they venerated and to which they dedicated offerings in order to establish their legitimacy. The position is classical, hands emphasizing a protruding abdomen, symbol of lineage. The cruciform headdress is delimited by a headband. Smooth brown patina with golden reflections. Satin surface.
The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, were for a long time subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the ...


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180.00

Hemba "Buli" cup carrier
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba statue

Sculpted in the style of the famous "master of Buli" of Hemba descent, this Luba/Hemba statue, represented in an attitude of concentrated meditation, presents a "mboko" cup destined for the sacred kaolin, an indispensable element for mediation with the spirits. The particularity of its plasticity characterizes the sculpture of the Buli region. Brown-black patina, cracks of desiccation and abrasions.

The Hemba settled in southeastern Zaire. Once under Luba rule, these farmers and hunters practice ancestor worship through effigies long attributed to the Luba. The statues singiti were kept by the fumu mwalo and honored during ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. Alongside the authority of the hereditary chiefs, secret societies, male such as the ...


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350.00

Calabash with female motif Hemba / Luba
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba fetish

These bankishi (sing. nkishi ) carvings were used as part of the bugabo , a society devoted to hunting, healing, and warfare. A female figure, symbolizing the sacred relationship of woman and royalty, surmounts a calabash decorated with feathers. Dark oiled patina. The Hemba have long been subject to the neighboring Luba Empire, which has had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship is central to Hemba society. Genealogy guarantees privileges and the distribution of land. All aspects of the community are permeated by the authority of the ancestors. For example, the ancestors are considered to have influence over justice, medicine, law and sacrifice. Skilled in carving, the Hemba produced mostly statues of ancestors singiti , embodying chiefs, ...

Effigy of royal ancestor Hemba Singiti
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba statue

This Hemba sculpture commemorating a local chief, an intermediary between men and the gods, stands out by its physiognomy and its attitude, which shows a certain serenity. A diadem composed of a succession of bars delimits the largely shaven head. A sophisticated headdress ends at the back of the head in a cruciform element. The face is embellished with a fine crenellated beard, evoking the wisdom and experience of the forefather.

Usually made of iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in a burial space in the chief's house. Dull grayish brown patina. Desiccation cracks, and numerous erosions.
The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire on the right bank of the Lualaba River, were for a long time subject to the ...

Hemba Singiti ancestor figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba figure

This tribal art hemba miniature commemorating a local chief, an intermediary between men and gods, stands out for its camped attitude, carried by reduced legs. The mouth is symbolically inlaid with a nail.

Generally made of iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in the funeral rooms of the chief's house. Lustrous brown patina. Desiccation crack. The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire on the right bank of the Lualaba River, were long subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which had a definite influence on their culture, religion, and art. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of privileges and land distribution. All aspects ...


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240.00

Katatora Hemba divination figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba figure

Instrument of divination used by the diviner during divination rituals to establish, according to him, contact with the ancestors. Incorporating the category of nkisi, nkishi objects, it is supposed to be endowed with a secret power, a receptacle of spiritual energy.
The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, have long been subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which has had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of privileges and land distribution. All aspects of the community are permeated by the authority of the ancestors. Thus, they are considered to have influence over justice, medicine, ...

Grelot Hemba / Luba
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Grelot Hemba

Ritual object used during divination sessions, consisting of two small, superimposed gourds topped with a female figure. The latter, kneeling, has a hollowed-out gourd in the cup. Seeds have been introduced into the dried fruit, producing a sound when the object is shaken.
The Hemba have long been subject to the neighbouring Luba empire, which has had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. The cult of ancestors is central to hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of the privileges and distribution of land. All aspects of the community are imbued with the authority of the ancestors. Thus, they are considered to have an influence on justice, medicine, law and sacrifices. Mastering sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mostly produced statues of ancestors ...


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Ancestor figure Hemba/ Luba Singiti
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba Statue

Sculpted in the style of the famous 'master of Buli' of Hemba ancestry, this male figure Luba or Hemba, whose feet were literally 'gnawed', personifies an ancestor. The hands are arranged on either side of the abdomen named difu, or 'lineage segment'. ...

Tabouret Luba/ Hemba Lupona, Kihona
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African art > Chair, palaver seat, throne, stool > Hemba Seat

Carrying the circular tray of a seat, a female figure forms the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign chief" (Luba, Roberts). The protruding, spiky scarifications surround the umbilicus, "center of the world" associated with lineage, and those of the lower abdomen, horizontal, symbolize fertility. This stool named lupona ,or kioni or kipona , kiona , depending on the source, constitutes the meeting point of the ruler, his people, and the protective spirits and ancestors, where past and present are symbolically and spiritually mixed. It once formed the seat on which the king mulopwe was enthroned. The seats were laid out on leopard skins during the investiture of the new chief. Only after sitting on it did his speech assume a royal and divine character. Apart from these exceptional ...

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Figure of ancestor Hemba Singiti
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Hemba

Ex-collection of French African art.
Symbolizing a local chief, this Hemba effigy, whose characteristics were once attributed to the Luba, was carved to create a link with the guardian spirits. The Hemba clan leaders had several statues of ancestors whom they venerated and to which they dedicated offerings in order to establish their legitimacy. The position is classic, hands valuing a protruding abdomen, symbol of lineage. The sophisticated headdress is bounded by a tiara.

Black brown Patine. Satin surface. Split base.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa, established in the south-east of the R.D.C, on plains surrounded by streams. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so the name (Baluba, which means the ...


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Statue Hemba Singiti
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Hemba

This statue of African art Hemba whose characteristics are close to Luba creations, personifies a male ancestor. Camped on short, stocky lower limbs, in an unplaced position, it is shown standing on a circular base. Position of expectation, of power, it emanates a certain force of the character. Witness of lineage, sex is highlighted, hands are classically positioned on either side of the protruding abdomen named difu, or "segment of lignage". ...


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Hemba ancestor head
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Hemba Head

This cephalomorphic sculpture presents the features of the Hemba statuary, half-closed eyes in an ovoid face, frontal tiara composed of alternating bars, sophisticated cruciform headdress. The face has delicately sculpted features highlighted by a raised pattern featuring a thin beard collar. Usually made in iroko, these objects were revered by a particular clan and stored in burial facilities in the chief's house.
Mate dark brown patina. Abrasions, Slit on the nose.
The Hemba have long been subject to the neighbouring Luba empire which has had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. The cult of ancestors is central to Hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of privileges and the distribution of land. All aspects of the community are imbued with the ...


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Masquette Hemba Ibombo ya soho
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masquette Hemba

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
Talisman mask with skewed eyelids between which points a sculpted nose in round-bump. A half-moon, toothed slit follows the contours of the jaw. Greyish brown satin patina. Slight lacks around the edge. Height on a base: 21 cm.
The Hemba are a subgroup of the Luba ethnic group living in southeastern DR Congo, east of the Lualaba River, best known for their statuary representing chiefs. The pieces called soko mutu , suku muntu , (from Swahili, man brother, and KiHemba, ibombo ya soho : 'monkey face') belonged to the cult of ancestors and existed in two forms: on the one hand large masks used during ritual dances, and on the other hand, small masks or statuettes used as gifts, were hung in the boxes as protective amulets. These masks have ...


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Ancestor statue Hemba Singiti
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Hemba

Sporting an angular profile, this figure of ancestor, intermediate between men and gods, is characterized by the serenity of its appearance, its broad head, and its position expressing a certain assurance camped on reduced legs, massive, including the oversized feet rest on a pedestal. A tiara engraved with alternating parallel lines delimits the shaved skull. The traditional sophisticated hairstyle, oiled and sprayed with red powder, then mounted on a raffia base, was arranged at the back as a cruciform element. The face is decorated with a crenellated V-beard, evoking the wisdom and experience of the forefather. Usually made in iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in burial rooms in the chief's house. Oiled and velvety brown patina, locally ...


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Masquette Hemba Sukumutu
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Hemba Mask

Mastering the sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mainly produced statues of ancestors singiti , embodying leaders, local warriors, or lineage ancestors that they venerate in order to appease mizimus spirits. A wide variety of ritual objects, fetishes, simian masks, gourds, and others of daily use have made their reputation. The pieces called soko mutu , suku muntu , (from Swahili," man's brother", and KiHemba, ibombo ya soho : "face de singe") belonged to the cult of ancestors and existed in two forms: on the one hand large masks used in ritual dances, and on the other hand, small masks or statuettes used as gifts, were hung in the boxes as protective amulets. These masks have recently been renamed mwisi gwa so'o , which expresses a concept that it is a chimpanzee spirit that would be ...


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