Prestigious sculptures in African art.
An African figure sports a Shankadi-like hairstyle. The subject would form the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign leader" (Luba, Roberts). The prominent scarifications converging towards the umbilicus, "center of the world" associated with the lineage, testify to notions of fertility. This miniature stool named lupona , or kioni ,kipona , kiona , depending on the source, constitutes the meeting point of the sovereign, his people, and protective spirits and ancestors, where past and present mingle symbolically and spiritually. It once formed the seat on which the king was enthroned. The seats were arranged on leopard skins during the investiture of the new leader. Only after sitting there did his speech take on a royal and divine character. Apart from these exceptional circumstances, the seats were not used and remained stored in undisclosed locations.
Brown satin patina, ocher residues, lacks and abrasions.
Source "Africa, The Art of a Continent" ed. Prestel; “Luba” F. Neyt; https://www.art-tribal.fr/art-tribal/livres-art-africain/Sieges-d-Afrique-noire/22180 .
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