Lumbo (Lumbu, Balumbo), Gabon
Male Figure (Kosi).
This equatorial forest people settled in the south and southwest of Gabon. They form part
of the intricate network of Gabons forty ethnicities, all of whose institutions are
similar and whose daily life is regulated by the necessities arising from a physically
hostile environment. Lacking centralized political organization, social life is
concentrated in the village and clans. Ancestors and tutelary spirits are worshipped, and
it is the initiation brotherhoods, which play a therapeutic and judiciary role and rule
social life. Lumbo artists carved figures influenced by Punu and Kongo styles. Their kosi statues and masks appear in funerary
rituals, initiation ceremonies, and the magical rites whose function is to unmask
sorcerers. Kosi are portraits of spirits contained within the sculpture itself.
Generally, among the Lumbo, figurative sculpture is used for protection from malevolent
forces and promotion of fecundity.
Size: 26x8 ½x8½