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Tribal art > African Statues > Sculpture Hemba

Ancestor head Hemba Singiti (N° 18688)

Ex-American African tribal art collection.

Distinctive features of Hemba statuary, half-closed eyes in an ovoid face, frontal tiara composed of alternating bars, sophisticated cruciform headdress, form here a face with a haughty character. A frieze of chevron motifs features a thin necklace of beard. Usually made of iroko, these objects were venerated by a particular clan and stored in a funerary room in the chief's house. Satin brown patina, granular residual incrustations, desiccation cracks, erosions. Damaged base fixed on pedestal. Total height: 38 cm. br> The Hemba were for a long time subjected to the neighboring Luba empire, which had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship is central to Hemba society. Genealogy is the guarantee of privileges and the distribution of land. All aspects of the community are impregnated by the authority of the ancestors. Thus, the ancestors are considered to have an influence on justice, medicine, law and sacrifices. Mastering sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mainly produced statues of ancestors, embodying chiefs, local warriors, or ancestors of lineage that they venerate in order to appease the spirits, mizimus. A wide variety of ritual objects, fetishes, ape masks, gourds, and others of daily use have made their fame.  

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OriginEx-collection E. Caldwell - USA
EthnyHemba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height33
Depth28
Width24
Weight2.70 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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