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Tribal art > African Statues > Head Hemba

Hemba ancestor head (N° 17764)

Usually made in iroko, the sculptures embodying the ancestor of the clan, named singiti, in the northern regions of Shaba and Maniema, were venerated by the group and stored in the chief's house in premises for funeral use. This cephalomorphic figure offers the peaceful expression emanating from the Statuary Hemba, eyes half-closed in an ovoid face, frontal tiara composed of alternating bars, sophisticated cruciform headdress. The face has delicately sculpted features highlighted by a raised pattern depicting a thin beard collar. Hauteu on plinth: 55 cm. Grainy matte patina. Abrasions and cracks, losses in the center.
The Hemba have long been subject to the neighbouring Luba empire, which has had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. The cult of ancestors is central to hemba society. 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. Mastering sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mostly produced statues of ancestors singiti, embodying leaders, local warriors, or lineage ancestors that they venerated in order to appease the spirits mizimus. A wide variety of ritual objects, fetishes, simiesque 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
Height36
Width20
Weight6.15 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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