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Luluwa Scarified Male on Stand Congo African Art

$290.00
Product #: 91765
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Title Luluwa Scarified On Stand DR Congo Africa
Type of Object Male Figure
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Luluwa (Lulua)
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age second half 20th Century
Dimensions 18,5 inches H x 4 inches W. x 3.5 inches D.
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 cracks in head, in neck, in shoulder, and in buttocks


Additional Information: This standing male figure with a protruding abdomen and body covered with scarification comes from the Luluwa people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Luluwa are neighbors of the Songye, Kusu, Luba, and Hemba peoples. The scarification patterns on Luluwa statues are unlike anything else found in Central Africa, and how or why the practice began is still a mystery.


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.


I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.