Protective Figure

Bena Lulua, Southern Congo
19th Century
Previous Collection: Dr. Solem, acquired in the 1960's

Amongst the rarest of miniature Congolese figures are small protective figures called 'Lupinga lwa bwimpe' carved by the Bena Lulua to protect newborns and small children. This particular example is quite fine with its tightly carved and heavily tattooed body; which is a sign of the figures great age; the traditional tribal tattoos of the Lulua disappeared more than a century ago. The face is expressive and classically sculpted with a horn projecting out of the top of the head. The exceptional patina is deep and encrusted with the regular tribal mixture of cam-wood; oil and rain water. The original wood base has a very old label 'Bena Lulua Kasai'.

This figure stands 7 inches tall.

SOLD / IN 8-07-09