B4L5S051.jpg (26637 bytes)Luba (Baluba, Kaluba, Louba, Uruwa, Waluba, Warua), Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mother and Child statue. The vast Luba territory, comprising the entire southeastern part of the DRC, as far as Tanganyika and Lake Mweru, is uniform as regards language and culture, but racially mixed. The traditional carvings are for ancestor and spirit cults, for initiation, medical and divination purposes. The favorite theme in sculpture was woman since according to a Luba myth vilie was the first woman spirit, founder of the clan and guarantor of fertility and the lineage. The depiction of the female form in Luba art is sometimes a reference to a particular named woman in Luba history, such as the mother of a chief or king, or a wife who was sent to establish a new domain in an outlying territory. More often, however, it is a generic representation of the feminine dimensions of Luba power that alone can ensure the blessing of the spirits. Women were cult guardians, and the royal wives played an important role: sent as emissaries to the chiefs of neighboring ethnicities, they would contract profitable political alliances based on marriage. The maternity theme in the Luba art is not very usual, and the specific meaning of this statue is unknown.

Material: wood

Size: H. 11”, W, 5”, D. 5”

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