|Title||Lulua Female Figure Bound Arms Congo African Art|
|Type of Object||Carving|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|People||Luluwa or Lulua or neighbor|
|Materials||Wood, pigments, raffia fibers|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Dimensions||20 inches tall x 4.5 inches wide x 4 inches deep|
|Damage/Repair||cavity in right shoulder; some scratches and worn patina|
Additional Information: This figure has features that can be attributed to many different peoples. It is believed to be from a sub-group near to the Lulua in the Democratic republic of Congo.
The Luluwa (Lulua) live in the Kasai region of the DRC, which produces an enormous number of statues and prestige objects, related both in style and use. The proximity to two huge old kingdoms, the Kuba and the Luba, has influenced almost all of the smaller cultures living in the region. The Bena Lulua produce some spectacular statues, heavy with their unique and precise scarification patterns. 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 smallest of their figures, carved with bent legs and hands to the cheeks, are thought to represent the burial position used for village leaders.
For information and examples, see A SURVEY OF ZAIREAN ART: THE BRONSON COLLECTION, by Cornet.