Bangwa Bwa Chibola - hardwood of the Crossopterix febrifuga tree - Bena Lulua - D.R.C.

Bangwa Bwa Chibola - hardwood of the Crossopterix febrifuga tree - Bena Lulua - D.R.C.
It dates to the 1930s - Good condition, used with some signs of wear

Gorgeous Bangwa Bwa Chibola – Bena Lulua – D.R.C.

In fine state. It dates to the 1930s.

Provenance: Ex –collection of the Timmermans brothers, Brussels- Tervuren. Obtained from Paul Timmermans in 1976 by H. Westerdijk. Collected by Mr. Timmermans while in the region around 1960.

This splendid example of a Bangwa bwa Chibola cultfigure shows a proud mother of twins with all of the beauty marks and fineries of the elite women of the Lulua people of the classic era. The sculpture is completely covered in red clay with which it was smeared during its active service in the fertility cult of the name stated.Bangwa stands for fetish, while cibola ( tshibola or tshisola) means painful problem , hinting at the disturbed relations between ancestral spirits and mortals that are thought to lay at the root of the infertility the cult tries to tackle. Sculptures of mothers with twins are rare, since most pieces show mamas with just one baby. The young lady portrayed is a high-class person of beautiful build and great presence. She has an elaborate hairdo, long neck, high forehead, protruding navel, large and full calves and fine tattoos. Upon becoming a member of the cult, the woman trying to get pregnant was given such a figure to handle and nurse in order to invite an ancestral spirit, often that of a child that died in infancy, to enter the womb and stay there until childbirth, protecting mother and child, even after delivery.

Literature: Herbert C. Cole: Maternity, Brussels, 2017, pp. 151 ff.C. Petrides: Lulua, Brussels, 2018, pp.67 ff. See especially figure 58.

Dimensions: 37 x 10 x 12 cm.
People / Region: The Lulia live in southcentral D.R.C.
Material: hardwood of the Crossopterix febrifuga tree.
Weight: 0.46 kg.

For the original text from seller, set language on this site to: English

Sold with handwritten declaration of authenticity by Dr. P. Westerdijk, museum ethnologist and cultural anthropologist specialized, for over 50 years now, in the study of the material cultures in African nations that live south of the Sahara.
Sent by registered and insured mail.

Lot details
Bangwa Bwa Chibola
Ethnic group/ culture
Bena Lulua
Region/ country
hardwood of the Crossopterix febrifuga tree
It dates to the 1930s
Good condition, used with some signs of wear
Sold with stand
37×10×12 cm
0.46 kg
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