Tribal art > African Chair > Luba stool
Fragment of a Luba Lupona stool (N° 21800)
Sacrality of the sculpted seats, prestige regalia, in primitive African art .
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A female figure supporting the circular plate of a seat, forms the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign chief" (Luba, Roberts). This stool named lupona , or kioni, kipona , kiona , according to the sources, constitutes the meeting point of the sovereign, his people, and protective spirits and ancestors, where past and present are symbolically and spiritually mingled. It was once the seat on which the king was enthroned. The seats were arranged on leopard skins when the new leader was inaugurated. It was only after being seated there that his address assumed a royal and divine character. Apart from these exceptional circumstances, the seats were not used and remained stored in secret places.
Satin patina, signs of wear on the top.
Height on plinth: 44 cm.
The birthplace of the Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river. They were born out of a secession from the Songhoy ethnic group. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in decentralized chiefdoms, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory with no real border which includes at most three villages.
Source "Africa, The Art of a Continent" ed. Prestel; "Luba" F. Neyt.
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