|Title||Bena Lulua Maternity Miniature Congo African Art|
|Type of Object||Carving, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|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.|
|Damage/Repair||some shallow cracks, cavities|
Additional Information: This delightful miniature depicts a mother holding a child. Her face, head and neck are decorated with ornate designs that suggest the hand of a Lulua carver.
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.