Mid-later 20th Century, Provenance: Ex UK private collection
Origin: D.R. Congo
Approximate age: Mid-later 20th Century
Materials: Wood, beads
Dimensions (HxWxD): 40x13x14 cm
A beautifully carved standing female figure visualizing Luba concepts of feminine beauty.
The serene face, the unique hairstyle, the honey-colored patina and the elegant stance all adds to the strong presence this figure possesses.
Luba girls learn that a woman is not born beautiful but becomes so as a result of modifications to her face and body. This process begins at puberty, as part of the coming-of-age rituals (butanda) that transform girls into physically beautiful, sexually attractive, and, therefore, highly eligible women who can fulfill their destiny as wives and mothers. Their teeth are filed, their hair is arranged into elegant hairstyles, and their bodies are decorated with beaded jewelry. In addition to having their labia extended, their bodies are decorated with strategically placed scarification patterns.
Another Luba criterion of physical beauty and sexual attractiveness on the sculpture is its glossy surface. Before retiring at night, a Luba woman heightened her attractiveness by applying oil to her scarified skin "so it will gleam in the dim lamplight of her bedroom chamber."
(References from DMA.)
|Member since:||January 17, 2016|
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