Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Hemba
Figure de danseur Hemba Soko muntu (N° 17448)
Rare anthropomorphic sculpture depicting a masked dancer dressed in a natural fiber cape attached to the thick leather cap that covers his neck, and wearing high leggings also in raffia. The face of the mask is characterized by its powerful formal contrasts, the pointed forehead under which the eyes are sheltered opposing the broad split, sneering, semi-spherical jaw. Lack on one foot. Patine mate.
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The Hemba are a subgroup of the Luba ethnic group living in southeastern DR Congo, east of the Lualaba River, best known for their statuary representing chiefs. The pieces called soko mutu , suku muntu , (from Swahili, man brother, and KiHemba, ibombo ya soho : 'monkey face') belonged to the cult of ancestors and existed in two forms: on the one hand large masks used during ritual dances, and on the other hand, small masks or statuettes used as gifts, were hung in the boxes as protective amulets, or, according to Father Cornet, attached to the dancer's belt. These masks were recently renamed mwisi gwa so'o , which expresses a concept that a chimpanzee spirit would be incarnated in the mask. Violent dances staged them during funerals and memorial rites.
Source: Art and life in Africa , C D. Roy. and The other face Ed. Adam Biro.
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|Origin||ex-collection Caldwell E. - USA|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, peau animale et plant fibre|
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