comb topped with head with elongated face and U-shaped hairstyle

Comb, 20th century

Not on Viewexpand_more

The figure in this comb is a representation of the Chokwe founder, Chibinda Ilunga. He was a Luba hunter of royal descent, who married the queen of the neighboring Lunda, and together they established the Chokwe. Chibinda Ilunga is still regarded as a hero and role model, and his image appears frequently in their art, distinguished by his elaborate chief's headdress. He established the concept of "sacred kingship" among the Chokwe, identifying rulers as representatives of God and mediators between the world of the living and the ancestors and spirits. Representations of Chibinda Ilunga serve as reminders of the importance of history and honoring ancestors.

Accession Number
Curator Approved

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comb topped with head with elongated face and U-shaped hairstyle