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Lulua Male Figure Congo African Art

Regular Price: $195.00

Special Price: $75.00

Product #: 103497
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Title Lulua Male Figure Congo Africa
Type of Object Carving, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Luluwa, Lulua
Materials wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 14 Inches
Width: 4 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 examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.


Additional Information: This delightful figure with body covered with elaborate keloid scarifications is identified with the Bena luluwa people. Numbering around 300,000, the Lulua have an interesting hierarchical social structure resembling the caste system in India. They worship ancestors, both real and mythic, whose spirits are thought to inhabit the rocks and the trees. They build shrines to house their effigies, and sometimes employ the smoking of hemp in ceremonies to honor them. Their art is somewhat scarce, with statues far more common than masks. The Bena Lulua have produced an enormous number of statues and prestige objects, related both in style and use. They are well-known for their spectacular statues, with their unique and precise scarification patterns which are not found somewhere else in Central Africa. How or why the practice began is still a mystery.The proximity to two huge old kingdoms, the Kuba and the Luba, has influenced almost all of the smaller cultures living in the region.


This figure portrays an elite of Lulua society, a chief or warrior with a special headdress and a well carved skirt with tassels worked in relief. His skirt and headdress are markers of his status as are the copper wrappings around his wrists. Sculptures of the Lulua people are well known for the elaborate scarification patterns worked onto the surface of the figures. These patterns are identified in some instances with symbolic meaning but must equally be viewed as aesthetic embellishment important to the Lulua. Though banned in the late 1880's scarification has reemerged albeit in a much reduced fashion to again identify the Lulua.