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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Hemba

Figure of ancestor Hemba Singiti (N° 19082)

Beautiful symmetry for this sculpture of ancestor Hemba where the span of the shoulders is balanced by the spread of the legs. An ovoid head whose features emerge, softened angles, the detail of a protruding adam apple, and the classic enhancement of the sexual organs associated with lineage. Grainy matte patina. Cracks.
Deral the tiara delimiting the shaved skull, the hair, oiled and coated with red powder, then mounted on a raffia base, was organized into a cruciform element.
Generally made in iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in funeral premises in the chief's house.

The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, have long been subject to the luba neighbour who had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. The cult of ancestors, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to the society hemba. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of the privileges and distribution of land. All aspects of the community are imbued with the authority of the ancestors. Thus, they are considered to have an influence on justice, medicine, law and sacrifices. The statues singiti were kept by the fumu mwalo and honoured during ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. Parallel to the authority of the hereditary chiefs, secret societies, such as the bukazanzi, and female, the bukibilo, played a large role within the clan. (Source: " Treasures of Africa, Tervuren Museum; " The Tribal Art of Black Africa" J.B. Bacquart; " Congo River", F.Neyt )  

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Possibility of payment in2x (2x 245.0 €)

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Originex-collection Caldwell - USA
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight1.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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