Tribal art > Commander stick > Bemba Cane
This gnarled stick, surmounted by a carved figure, was the emblem of a notable Bemba. The spherical head offers simply engraved features, the body a frontal posture, large digited hands resting on the abdomen.
Golden yellow patina.
The Bemba, or Bambembas, from Maniema, claim to be of Luba origin and settled on the banks of Lake Moero, near Zambia, and Lake Tanganyka.
The Bemba participated in the slave trade during the 19th century by allying themselves with the slave king Msiri. Colonial policy dispersed them in the twentieth century. Their leader now rules at Kasama in Zambia.
They believe in a supreme god, Lesa , worship nature spirits, Ngulu , a snake named lunga , and mythical ancestors.
Their highly diverse art was influenced by that of neighboring tribes, Luba, Lunda, ...