Beautiful Hemba or Kusu Stool 16″ – DR Congo – African Art

$250.00

1 in stock

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This stool was hand-carved in the style of the Hemba or Kusu people of DRC. The stool has a male face carved in the middle with beautiful features. He measures 16 inches tall and weighs 14 pounds. There is some cracking, scuffing and wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos.

Type of Object

Stool

Country of Origin

DR Congo

Ethnicity

Kusu, Hemba

Material

Wood & pigment

Approximate Age

Unknown

Height (Inches)

16"

Width (Inches)

11”

Depth (Inches)

11"

Weight (Pounds)

14 lbs

Overall Condition

Some cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout.

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Tribe Information

About the Kusu People

"Kusu history is shared with the Nkutshu and Tetela, all of whom came from the northwest of their current location and share a Mongo-Kundu origin. Their first movement was southward, then they moved back north through Luba, Songye, and Hemba territory, acquiring social customs and learning artistic styles along the way. Once arrived in their new location they split into two major factions divided into north and south—they then further divided into smaller groups, which remain largely separated and independent to this day due to their geographic isolation. The groups in the south have been more influenced by the Songye and the Luba, which is evident in their sculpture styles."

Read more about the Kusu here.

About the Hemba People

“During the 18th century, the Hemba people, led by their chief Niembo, migrated from the south-west and settled on the right bank of the Lualaba River, in a region of fertile savannah. Today, they number 80,000 and are divided into large clans which, by definition, are families with a common ancestor. The hereditary chief of each clan is called the Fumu Mwalo and is the keeper of the ancestor figures. He renders justice and his status as clan head means that he has a privilege of receiving numerous gifts. The Hemba live mostly from farming manioc, sesame, yams and beans. Secret societies such as Bukazanzi for the men and Bukibilo for the women counterbalance the Fumu Mwalo’s power.

Two types of Hemba mask have been identified so far: the first is the rarest and displays a perfectly symmetrical human face with a small mouth and a linear nose set between two slanted eyes. The second type of mask imitates a monkey face with a large, pierced, crescent-shaped mouth and pointed nose. The function and meaning of these masks remain obscure.”

Source:
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.