Bangubangu Types of Art The Bangubangu carve freestanding anthropomorphic sculptures, which are characterized by coffee bean-shaped eyes and pointed beards. Women also produce high-quality pots that are sold in the local markets for profit. History The Bangubangu are now thought to have a shared history with other early hunters (pre-Bembe hunters) who passed through […]


BEMBE  HISTORY The Bembe originate from the northwest forests of Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are representative of numerous ethnic traditions including Lega, pre-Lega, Boyo-Kunda, and Bemba. They are a tough and proud people who absorbed other populations and their systems of thought in the process of carving out their current homeland in a

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BUSHOONG TYPES OF ART As might be expected, art that can be directly attributed to the Bushoong is almost always used to validate rule. Ndop (portraits of rulers) are perhaps the best known of the Bushoong royal arts and are used as mnemonic devices to remember Kuba history and to transfer power from one king to the

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Chokwe TYPES OF ART The Chokwe are well known for art objects produced to celebrate and validate the royal court. These objects include ornately carved stools and chairs used as thrones. Most of the sculptures are portraits, which represent the royal lineage. Staffs, scepters, and spears are among other implements sculpted to celebrate the court.

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Hemba TYPES OF ART The artistic style of the Hemba is very similar to that of the Luba, as many of their forms are borrowed. Art often results from the elaboration of otherwise simple utilitarian objects. Extensive wooden sculptures, which often represent the ancestors, predominate. HISTORY Near the end of the 16th century, the Hemba

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Holoholo TYPES OF ART The confluence of ethnic groups that resulted in Holoholo identity is reflected in their art, which incorporates many diverse styles. Elements of Luba and Tabwa styles are both apparent. A few figures attributed to the “master of slit eyes” represent the best known Holoholo art objects in museum collections. HISTORY Holoholo

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Kongo TYPES OF ART The most prolific art form from this area is the nkisi objects, which come in all shapes, mediums, and sizes. The stratification of Kongo society resulted in much of the art being geared toward those of high status, and the nkisi figures were one of the only forms available to everyone. HISTORY The Kongo peoples

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KUBA TYPES OF ART Aside from beautiful cloth, the Kuba also produce carved wooden masks and figures. They also carve headrests, divination oracles, and anthropomorphic cups. HISTORY In the 16th century, the Kuba peoples migrated from the distant north to their current location along the Sankuru River. When they arrived, however, they found that the

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KUSU TYPES OF ART Much of Kusu sculpture is comparable to their neighbors, from the Lubaized chief’s stools and Songye-like power figures, to the Hemba-influenced ancestor figures. Women also make pottery and basketry, which is used in everyday life. HISTORY Kusu history is shared with the Nkutshu and Tetela, all of whom came from the

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LEGA TYPES OF ART The Bwami society is the context for the production of most Lega art work, which includes ivory and wooden statuettes and masks. Ivory objects are reserved for the highest level, Kindi, while wooden objects are used by Kindi and Yonanio, the second level. HISTORY In the 16th century the Lega began

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