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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Drc Luba Leopard Tribal Mask For Sale
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Striking African DRC Luba / Songye Leopard Tribal Animal Mask
Height: 53 Centimeters
Measurements Mask Only
Wood, Pigment, Vegetal Material, Rope
Estimated Early 20th Century
Highly Stylized large mask zoomorphic form polychrome finished encrusted aged surface
US East Coast - Estimated $20.00
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any
Available Provenance Will Be Included With This Piece.
Wood deterioration, age cracks, worn areas, chips and scrapes, larger chips to ear, worn areas, overall condition fair. Thank you and please view my other items.
Historically, the Luba Empire is said to have developed from a migration led by the Songye king Nkongolo. Rapidly turning tyrant, he was killed by his nephew Kalala Ilunga. His direct successor flunga Lui, had as brother the famous Tshibinda Ilunga, who was himself founder of the Chokwe Empire. This illustrious family is, in myths, at the origin of kingdoms covering a vast region. In the eighteenth century, the Luba Empire-established in the savannas of Shaba, in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo-was geographically very extensive and included numerous provinces governed by members of the royal lineage. They were subject to attack by the Chokwe and the Yeke at the end of the nineteenth century, attacks which in the end succeeded in dismantling Luba power Thus the Hemba located in the northern region of the Luba Empire, for long came under this yoke as well. They are primarily farmers and hunters, and have kept their cultural and religious identify intact over several centuries. The Hemba chiefs, holders of authority over all members of their clan, are also the officials in charge of the ancestor cult that relies on the use of these magnificent hierarchical figures. These works, noted by their meditative appearance, have made the reputation of their art. Certain families of the royal lineage possess a great number of these funerary effigies, which convey the legitimacy and venerability of their origins.
Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso,
Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had
been profoundly influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish
and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my
collection. It is easy to see why I bought them and why from that moment I
have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which
is after all only a functional object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me
then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply
as the bobbin by its silent tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation.
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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Drc Luba Leopard Tribal Mask: $393