Bow Stand (Nsakakabemba)
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
The great mythical hero of Luba kingship, Mbidi Kiluwe, was a famous hunter whose most cherished possession was his bow. Bow stands therefore symbolize chiefly authority and are associated with elaborate rituals and restrictions. 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 that of devotion to the spirit world.
29 1/4 x 13 1/4 x 5 1/2 in. (74.3 x 33.7 x 14 cm)
Other: 29 1/8 x 13 3/8in. (74 x 34cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
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Luba. Bow Stand (Nsakakabemba), 19th century. Wood, 29 1/4 x 13 1/4 x 5 1/2 in. (74.3 x 33.7 x 14 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1345. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.1345_SL1_edited_version.jpg)
overall, 22.1345_SL1_edited_version.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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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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