African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Luba Pipe
Luba Pipe (N° 20889)
Ex-collection Traditional African art from Belgium.
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Seated on the spherical stove of a water pipe, an image of the womb, this African statue of a female Luba, a spirit medium, has an ovoid head with a shaved forehead outlined by a headband. Her hairstyle is that of Luba women in the early 20th century. Her attitude, with her hands positioned close to her chest, reminds us that the secrets of royalty (the bizila) belong to women thanks to their role as political and spiritual intermediaries.
Dark patina, slightly satin.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) 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"). They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership of Ilunga Kalala, who had the old king Kongolo, who has since been venerated in the form of a python, die. In the sixteenth century they created a state, organized in decentralized chieftaincies, which extended from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chieftaincies cover a small territory with no real borders, and include no more than three villages.
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