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

Commemorating a local chief, in charge of interceding towards men with the gods, this Hemba tribal art figure stands out for its haughty bearing. Sculpted details have been rendered with meticulous care. Soft satin patina, kaolin residue.

Generally made in iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in rooms for funerary use in the chief's house.
Matte grey-brown patina. Desication cracks, and numerous erosions.
The Hemba, established in the south-east of Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, were for a long time subjected to the neighboring Luba empire, which had on their culture, their religion and their art a certain influence. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to Hemba society. ...


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150.00

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

This tribal art hemba sculpture commemorating a local chief, an intermediary between men and gods, stands out for its proportionately imposing head and haughty bearing. . Grainy matte patina, erosions and cracks.

Usually made in iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in rooms for funeral use in the chief's house.
The Hemba, established in the south-east of Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, have long been subjected to the neighboring Luba empire which has had on their culture, their religion and their art a certain influence. The cult of ancestors, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central in hemba society. Genealogy is in fact the guarantor of privileges and the distribution of land. All ...


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150.00

Hemba statue
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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, ...


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

Commemorating a local chief, responsible for interceding for men with the gods, this Hemba tribal art figure stands out for the contrast of its proportions.

Generally made in iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in rooms for funerary use in the chief's house.
Matte black patina. Desication cracks, and numerous erosions.
The Hemba, established in the south-east of Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, were for a long time subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which had a certain influence on their culture. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to Hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of privileges and the distribution of land. The ancestors are considered to have an ...


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280.00

Hemba Sceptre
African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Hemba Sceptre

Hemba African art.
Like the kibangos of the Luba, this command staff, a prestigious object, refers to the history of the ancestor or that of his clan. The sculpted motif forming the pommel, extended by a ringed neck, represents a singiti ancestor. Dark brown satin patina. Desication erosions and cracks.
The Hemba, established in the south-east of Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, were for a long time subjected to the neighboring Luba empire, which had on their culture, their religion and their art a certain influence. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, 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 authority of the ancestors. ...


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280.00

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

br>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 depicting chiefs. The pieces referred to as soko mutu, suku muntu, (from Swahili, "brother of a man", and KiHemba, ibombo ya soho:" monkey face") belonged to the cult of the 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 serving as gifts, were hung in the huts as protective amulets, or, according to Father Cornet, attached to the dancer's belt. These masks were recently renamed mwisi gwa so'o, which expresses a concept that a chimpanzee spirit is embodied in the mask. Violent dances staged them during funerals and commemoration rites. The statue opposite ...


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Statue Hemba
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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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Sanza Hemba
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African art > Tam Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Sanza Hemba

Very common in Central Africa, this musical instrument or sanza with a cephalomorphic motif here symbolizes a "singiti" ancestor. The object offers a sound box carrying metal slats. The thumbs of both hands will rest on the soundboard to vibrate the front ends of the tongues to produce the sound.
Satin brown patina, abrasions and desication cracks. Erosions on the posterior face.
Height on base: 40 cm.
The Hemba have long been subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which has had a certain influence on their culture, their religion and their art. Genealogy is the guarantor of privileges and the distribution of land. All aspects of the community are imbued with the authority of the ancestors. They are considered to have an influence on justice, medicine, law and ...


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

This singiti Hemba head, sculpted by the bwana mutombo, presents a haughty character specific to Hemba statuary. The frame of the face is enhanced by a fine tiara and a chiselled beard collar. Usually made of iroko, these objects were revered by a particular clan and stored in burial chambers in the chief's house.
Grainy satin patina. Erosions and cracks.
Height on base: 40 cm.
The Hemba have long been subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which has had a certain influence on their culture, their religion and their art. Ancestor worship 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 authority of the ancestors. Thus, these are considered to have an ...


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

This small Hemba protective figure, whose characteristics were once attributed to the Luba, embodies an ancestor. Made to communicate with the tutelary spirits, this sculpture was part of the "mvidye", intermediaries between the spiritual world and individuals, who could also embody nature spirits among the Luba of Kasai. Hemba clan chiefs had several statues of ancestors that they venerated and to which they dedicated offerings in order to establish their legitimacy. This figure adopts the classical position, hands emphasizing a protruding abdomen, symbol of lineage. It also has a sophisticated headdress, hollowed out in the shape of a cross. Dark brown piece whose projections are abraded by use. Satin surface. The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa, ...


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100.00

Hemba stick
African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Hemba stick

Stick carved with a motif in the round depicting a forefather singiti . Dark brown satin patina.

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 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, law, and sacrifice. The singiti statues were kept by the fumu mwalo and honored in ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. ...


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290.00

Hemba fetish
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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, ...


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Masquette Hemba Ibombo ya soho
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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 ...

Hemba mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Hemba mask

According to the Hemba, the spirit of a primate is embodied in this type of African mask with a wide grin occupying the lower part of the face. The imposing volume of the nose, under the circled eyes, is also a notable element. Velvety dark patina. Abrasions and localized crack at the top.
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 belonged probably, according to J.Kerchache, to the bugabo and bambudye secret societies. The smallest copies (about twenty centimeters) would have been carried by hand during rites intended for the protection of the home and for fertility. Besides the ...


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

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'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 embodied in the mask.
Stylized version of the simiesque mask, this sculpture is characterized by its powerful formal contrasts, the pointed forehead under which ...


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

The Hemba clan chiefs had several statues of ancestors that they venerated, such as this statuette, and to which they made offerings in order to establish their legitimacy. The cruciform headdress is delimited by a wide band.
Grainy black brown patina. Desication cracks, lack.
The Hemba, established in the south-east of Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, were for a long time subjected to the neighboring Luba empire, which had on their culture, their religion and their art a certain influence. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, 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 authority of the ancestors. Thus, these are ...


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140.00

Masque Hemba Market Muntu
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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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Hemba statue
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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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Soko mutu Hemba Mask
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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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Hemba statue
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 ...


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230.00

Hemba Spoon
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Hemba Spoon

The Hemba are a subgroup of the Luba ethnic group living in southeastern Zaire, east of the Lualaba River, best known for their statuary representing chiefs. Once under the rule of the Luba, these farmers and hunters practice the worship of ancestors through effigies long attributed to the Luba.The statues singiti were kept by the fumu mwalo and honored in ceremonies sacrifices were offered to them. Parallel to the authority of hereditary chiefs, secret, male societies such as the bukazanzi , and women, the bukibilo , played a big role within the clan.
(Source: "Treasures of Africa, Museum of Tervuren)Etablie on the spoon, this effigy of ancestor, soberly represented, adopts the classical attitude, hands positioned near the abdomen, legs semi-flexed on broad feet. The ovoid ...


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