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Bow Stand (Nsakakabemba)

The great mythical hero of Luba kingship was a famous hunter whose most cherished possession was his bow. Bow stands, therefore, symbolize chiefly authority and are connected to elaborate rituals and taboos. They are never displayed in public and are guarded by a female dignitary who provides prayers and sacrifices. The female figure on this bow stand holds her hands to her chest, a gesture that refers both to the Luba idea that women guard the secrets of royalty within their breasts and to the idea of devotion to the spirit world.

Catalogue Description:
Standing female figure arms bent hands resting between breasts. Scarification on abdomen and elaborate headdress. There is a three pronged projection carved with patterns at top of head. Condition: Chipped and cracked.


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