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Luba head rest

(19th c.)
The renowned Luba-people live in a vast area in the South-east of the West African democratic republic of Congo. They have a martial, but also violent history of over 500 years. On the other hand, their artistic tradition is refined and harmonious. The Luba artist was a man of distinction, and could be recognized by a ceremonial axe which he always carried over his shoulders. A lot of attention was paid to the sculpting of the head rest. In daily life it protected the vulnerable ceremonial hairstyle, but its symbolic meaning went far beyond that. It reflected the owners well-being and social prestige and it protected him against nightmares. The head rest was such an important and personal possession that it was often buried together with its deceased owner in his grave.


  • AFR04

  • h. 14 cm.