Arts of Africa
This large, extraordinarily beautiful example of a rare Luba water pipe undoubtedly belonged to a person of high status. The female figure holding her breasts is the most common motif in Luba art. The gesture symbolizes respect, nurturing, and the role of women as mothers. The representation of a woman is also significant because the Luba trace descent from the female line. The figure’s elaborate scarification and hairstyle indicate she is a woman of wealth and high social rank.
Wood, leather, clay
23 x 3 3/4 x 9 in. (58.4 x 9.5 x 22.9 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Brooklyn Museum Collection
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Luba. Water Pipe, 19th century. Wood, leather, clay, 23 x 3 3/4 x 9 in. (58.4 x 9.5 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 22.1108a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.1108a-b_PS2.jpg)
overall, 22.1108a-b_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Carved wooden water pipe and bowl straddled by a beautifully carved female figure with elongated torso. Body symbolically cicatrized in traditional style. Modelled arms with hands below small breasts; columnar neck surmounted by carefully carved head; coiffure bound up in cross-shaped framework. Wood worn and patinated; clay bowl has been repaired.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.