Luba Pungwe Post Figure

Luba Pungwe post figures are anthropomorphic stakes put in the ground in the centre of Luba / Hemba villages in front of the house of the clan’s chief.
Tribe: Luba / Hemba

Origin: D.R.Congo

Approx Age: Early – mid 20th Century

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 146 tall

Ref. Number: 1220

SOLD

Description:
A very serene, large and extremely rare Luba Pungwe post figure, visually the carving of the face is very beautiful showing off a long tailed coiffure. The topof the head is very eroded due to age and old insects making a home, there are insect holes over most of the body yet it is still a solid piece, the base where it has been in the ground is very eroded too. This has its own stand that was present when acquiring this piece.

Provenance: Ex Private UK Collection..

History

Luba / Hemba Pungwe posts are very rare and are anthropomorphic styled, these stakes are placed in the middle of the Luba / Hemba village in front of the house of the clan’s chief.

These Pungwe posts have apotropaic functions, protecting the village and its inhabitants from diseases, bad crops and occult forces.

They are related to the cult of the founding ancestor of the clan. At their base would be a placed a set of four to seven stones taken from the mountain where the clan ancestor lived before settling in the village.

Source: Jean Baptist Bacquart

This is a beautiful large piece of Luba art and very rarely seen, a very powerful post figure and in a lovely presentation and enhanced by its wonderful weathered patina

 

Traditional village of the Luba people near Mbuji

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