Tribal art > African Chair > Luba Seat
Tabouret cariatides Lupona / Kipona Luba (N° 14716)
A kneeling couple figure, with his back attached, forms the "recepacle of a deceased sovereign leader" (Luba, Roberts). The hands support the central circular tray. The scarifications of the female figure, protruding, in ears, surround the umbilical, "centre of the world" associated with lineage, and those of the lower abdomen, horizontal, symbolize fertility. This stool named lupona, or kioni or kipona , kiona , according to the sources, constitutes the meeting point of the sovereign, his people, and protective spirits and ancestors, where symbolically and spiritually mingle past and present. It once formed the foundation upon which King mulopwe was inducted. Seats were arranged on leopard skins at the inauguration of the new leader. It was only after sitting there that his speech took on a royal and divine character. Apart from these exceptional circumstances, the seats were not used and remained in secret locations. Dark brown satin patina, seating lustrous by use. Desication cracks.
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The cradle of the Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) is the Katanga, specifically the lubu River region. They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in decentralized chiefdoms, that stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory with no real borders that includes at most three villages. Source "Africa, The Art of a Continent" ed. Prestel; U.022Luba" F. Neyt.
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