Tribal art > African Chair > Tabouret Lupona
Table/ stool Luba Hemba Lupona (N° 19218)
Supporting with her fingers placed in a fan shape the circular tray of a seat, or of a shelf, the object can also be used as a pedestal table, a female figure forms the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign chief" (Luba, Roberts).
The protruding scarifications, in ears, are scattered across the bust where the umbilicus forms the "center of the world" associated with the lineage, and on the lower abdomen, horizontal, they symbolize fertility. This stool named lupona ,or kioni or kipona , kiona , according to the sources, is the meeting point of the sovereign, his people, and the protecting spirits and ancestors, where past and present symbolically and spiritually mingle. It once formed the foundation on which the king was enthroned. The seats were laid out on leopard skins when the new chief was inaugurated. It was only after he sat down that his address took on a royal and divine character. Other than in exceptional circumstances, the seats were not used and were stored in secret locations. The hemba seats, with similar characteristics, are called kihona .
Satin patina. Erosions in spite of a good general condition.
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The cradle of the Luba (Baluba in chiluba) is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river. They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in decentralized chiefdoms, which extended from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without any real border that includes at most three villages.
Source "Africa, The Art of a Continent" ed. Prestel; "Luba" F. Neyt.
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