Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Luba
Fertility figure Luba (N° 17749)
This sculpture, embodying a woman with an ovoid face with regular features and whose pose, hands on the chest, evokes fertility, is also associated with royal secrets. This attitude indicates that the secrets of royalty, bizila, belong to women through their role as political and spiritual intermediaries. It is depicted wearing, behind a forehead largely cleared by the traditional shaving, braids arranged in shells, some of which return like ram horns. The so-called 'epi' scarifications, 'tactile mnemonic code', cover the abdomen and lower abdomen, highlighting the volumes and protruding umbilical. This type of figure was also used in fertility rituals: young women lacking breast milk came to touch the chest of the statue in the hope of breastfeeding more abundantly. These mothers then spoke audibly to the ancestor figure by indicating that their grandchildren lacked milk. Grainy heterogeneous patien. Desication cracks.
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br-The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so the name (Baluba, which means the Lubas). They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership of Ilunga Kalala who killed the old king Kongolo, who has since been revered as a python. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in a decentralized chiefdom, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without a real border that includes no more than three villages. The Luba have two types of figures: the mikisi mihasi, embodying deceased parents or spirits, and the mikisi mihake, sculptures dedicated to containing a magical charge, in the head or abdomen, in order to solve a problem. ( Luba , Roberts, 5 Continents; Treasures of Africa Ed. Tervuren Museum).
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