|Title||Luba Female Figure Congo African Art Miniature|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Approximate Age||Late 20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 11.75 Inches
Width: 2.75 Inches
On base: 13 inches H x 3.5 x 3 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: A Luba standing female figure holding belly. Elements that identify this figure with the Luba include characteristic carving styles such as facial features, and the ethnic marks such as the traditional hairstyle. The theme of maternity is common to the Luba and related peoples such as the Zela and Songye (see Francois Neyt, LUBA...). The female spirit taking care of her lineage. This figure with children is identified with the female ancestor spirit who is regarded as guarantors of the continuity of the lineage. It is through woman that the ancestor reveals himself anew in the child.
The Luba are one of the dominant cultures of the Congo, and perhaps number around one million. 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. They are debatable the most recognized and respected of all the art-producing cultures in central Africa. Most texts on African art will devote a major section to the Luba, and a great source.
-Francois Neyt, LUBA TO THE SOURCES OF THE ZAIRE, 1994
-Mary Nooter Roberts and Allen F. Roberts, MEMORY. LUBA ART AND THE MAKING OF HISTORY, 1996