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This introduction to the visual art of one of the most renowned peoples of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo deals exclusively with sculpture. After providing a brief history of the Chokwe, the different chapters examine the figurines used in the ritual of divination, the statuary connected with the humba possession cults, antique (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) classical statuary referred to as of the native land, court items, privileges of the warrior aristocracy, and wooden masks linked to the chieftianship and the initiation rites of circumcision. Particular attention is devoted to the precious effigies of Chibinda Ilunga, the civilising hero of the myths of the origins, almost all the exemplars of which were brought to Europe in the nineteenth century, as well as to chairs, whose symbolism and function are revelatory both of the religion and the hierarchical structure of the chieftianship.
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