Staffs indicating office or rank have been widely used in Africa since ancient times. Luba chiefs, spiritual leaders, and diviners all use carved staffs as symbols of authority. During a chief's investiture, for example, the chief's sister or first wife precedes him, carrying the staff and placing it near the throne. These hereditary objects are passed on from one generation to another.
Wooden staff. Surmounted by female figure with hands on breasts. Face seems carved with greater realism than most in this style, yet all else is in tradition. Black finish removed, traces of it remain in crevices. Eyes were originally inlaid, now missing. CONDITION: Ornamental trimming worn.