Lunda maternity SOLD
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Fine incrusted patina, and scarifications.
Unusual coiffe, and baby position
see more images at bottom of page.
Although it is impossible to isolate specific examples of Lunda art, their political activity in the region and their patronage of artists living in neighboring ethnic groups influenced the artistic styles found throughout the region. It is believed that all objects historically linked to the Lunda were originally carved by neighbors, including Chokwe, Luba, Ding, and Lwena.
Lunda history is intricately tied to the peoples living throughout the entire region of south central Congo (Zaire), western Zambia, and northern Angola. From the early 17th century until the late 19th century when the Chokwe took over regional power, the Lunda empire was the dominant political and military force in this area of Africa. A political union with the neighboring Luba peoples dates back to a royal wedding between Lweji, daughter of a Lunda land chief, and Cibinda Ilunga, son of the first Luba king, Kalala Ilunga. Following this union many dissatisfied clans left the centralized Lunda area and colonized new areas of central Africa, extending the Lunda empire enormously. Lunda influence remained considerable from Lake Tanganyika almost to the Atlantic Ocean, until Chokwe and then colonial interventions diminished their power.
Nzambi is recognized as the supreme creator god, and appeals are never made directly to him. Instead, ancestor spirits, who are responsible for doing both good and bad, are called upon to fulfill individual and community requests at all major community functions. Divination plays an important role in maintaining a system of balance in the community, determining which spirits require appeasement and when such activities should occur. Basket divination and rubbing oracles are the most common forms of divination among the Lunda. Trees are planted in a sacred grove during chiefly succession rites to represent the ancestors of the current chief.
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