Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Luluwa
Ancestor figure Bena Lulua, Luluwa (N° 16676)
This male African statue of an ancestor, hunter or warrior, is equipped with abundant scarifications, a common practice at the end of the 19th century in Central Africa. These marks were signs of beauty of symbolic value, revealing physical and moral quality out of the ordinary. Concentric circles suggest not only the great stars, but also hope. U.
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These statues of warriors, whose right-angled arm position would be associated with vigour, participated in the investitures and funerals of the chiefs.
Locally peeled grey brown patina. Desication cracks.
Lulua is a generic term, which refers to a large number of heterogeneous peoples who populate the region near the Lulua River, between the Kasai and Sankuru rivers. The Lulua people migrated from West Africa during the 18th century and settled in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). There are 300,000 of them and live in small regional chiefdoms and in times of crisis, they elect a common leader. The role of the village chief is to ensure political, legal and social cohesion. During the late 19th century, the Lulua culture underwent radical changes. In 1875, King Lulua, Kalambam, introduced new social and religious rules, which put an end to the traditional consumption of palm wine and the ban on smoking hemp. They produced few masks, but especially statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, mulalenga wa nkashaama , as well as the head of the Leopard Society and statuettes mbulenga related to the spirits of nature.
Ref.: "Initiés, Congo Basin". Ed.Museum Dapper; "African Art", Kerchache
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