African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lwena statue
Carved from dense wood, this protective female figure is said to be associated with the mythical ancestor and to intervene in human fertility, land fertility, and successful hunts. The face forms a miniature replica of the powerful mukishi wa pwo nyi cijingo ca tangwa mask topped with the kambu ja tota. ("Chokwe and Their Bantu Neighbours" Rodrigues de Areia.)
Brown satin patina. Abrasions, cracks.
br>Originally Lunda, the Lwena , Luena, emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, pushed out by the Chokwe. When some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for their sculptures embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks related to the ...