Superb 19th Century Luba Mask
- Alain Naoum – Antique African Art Gallery – Brussels
- Superb 19th Century Luba Mask
An important Luba moon mask: semi-circle shape decorated with concentric circles and divided into quarters.
The central portion has facial features such as almond shaped eyes and a small nose which sits above a prominent cuboid mouth. These are typical characteristics of these masks.
Good condition for an object of this type and age. Marks, nicks, scratches, abrasions, flaking and small chips and cracks consistent with age and use.
The Luba empire was founded in 1585 in the Upemba depression by King Kongolo. His nephew and successor, Kalala Ilunga, rapidly expanded the kingdom to encompass all the territories on the upper left bank of the Lualaba River. At its peak, about one million people, living in several tribes, were paying tribute to the Luba king. At the end of the igth century, with the advance of the Ovimbudu people from Angola and the raids of the East African Muslim slavers, the empire weakened and, in fact, collapsed when the Belgian colonials took control..[read more]