Tribal art > African Statues > Luba figure
Luba Mikisi figure (N° 18938)
This feminine effigy, a spiritual medium for the Lubas, has regular features in little relief in an ovoid face. Her headdress, behind a wide band revealing a shaved forehead, recalls the one worn by Luba women at the beginning of the 20th century. The attitude indicates that the secrets of royalty ( the bizila ) belong to women thanks to their role of political and spiritual intermediary. The prominent umbilicus symbolizes its role of fertility and transmission of life.
Smooth, satiny patina. Cracks and erosions.
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The Luba (Baluba in tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely 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 had the old king Kongolo, venerated since then in the form of a python, die. In the 16th century they created a state, organized as a decentralized chieftaincy, which extended from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without real border that includes at most three villages.
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