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Luba Figural Floor Path Smoother Congo African Art

Product #: 106472
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Title Luba Figural Floor Path Smoother Congo African Art
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of the Congo
People Luba
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 18 Inches
Width: 3.25 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We
Damage/Repair Cracks and bug damage.

Additional information: This is a tool used to smooth cow dung floors in huts.  The decoration of utilitarian and presentation pieces is another form prominent in Luba art, and fittingly they usually include some sort of sculptural reference to the importance of women in their culture, most often a female face or torso. Among the famous non-statuary carvings one can find exquisite caryatid stools and headrests, bow stands, small human effigies, which function as amulets, rattles, staffs, and the so-called "lukasa" or memory boards. The significance of these smaller objects lies in the care lavished upon them, as they are often of great beauty, and clearly demonstrate the skills which have allowed the Luba to achieve an almost religious zeal among serious collectors.

History: The Luba empire, which at one time stretched from the west all the way to Lake Tanganyika, was at its most powerful from around 1500 to the 1870's, when expansion reached east to lake's edge. The decline of Luba power began soon afterwards, and can be traced to Arab slave raiders and European colonialists, who did not recognize the power of Luba laws and rituals, and alas, also possessed rifles and horses. Though no longer politically powerful, Luba influences are still felt today throughout much of the DRC.