Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Luba Figural Headrest Two Heads Congo African Art

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Title Luba Figural Headrest Two Heads Congo Africa
Type of Object Headrest
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Luba
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 8 Inches
Width: 2.5 Inches
Depth: 10 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.
Damage/Repair N/A

Additional Information: This is a Luba figural Headrest with a carved head in each end. Thes heads are carved in the style of the Luba strongly influenced by the Hemba. This piece was used as a low headrest .

Luba always carve their headrests with great care reflecting the importance of these artifacts to the owner.Headrests like this were personal items used by their owners as pillows to protect their neck and for their comfort while resting or lying on the mat. They were also used to protect their ceremonial coiffure. As François Neyt noted, symbolically these headrests are the support of life itself. They also prevent bad dreams.The Luba excel at the veneration of feminine beauty and motherhood, and much of their skillfully crafted artworks, like this exquisite headrest, reflect this ideal.

The history of the Luba can be traced back at least 500 years, and they have dominated much of southern part of the Congo during most of this time span. At the height of their expansion their empire stretched east all the way to Lake Tanganyika. They are still a large culture, numbering about 1,000,000, and their influence remains significant. While there are dozens of art-producing peoples of Congolese origin who have contributed significantly to the recognition of West African art, the Luba, along with their closely related neighbors the Hemba, are debatably the most important of them all, with many masterpieces scattered throughout the world. The Luba, like most African peoples, fashion a wide variety of everyday objects out of wood, but in their hands many of these utilitarian pieces have risen to levels of beauty unparalleled in West Africa. For similar piece see François Neyt , LUBA TO THE SOURCES OF THE ZAIRE