26 UMMA Objects
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This standing female <em>nkisi mihasi</em>, or “benevolent” power figure, has been carved in light wood and exhibits many of the typical traits associated with the Luba Shankadi style, and more specifically, with the Mwanza center of production. These features include its disproportionately large, ovoid face, half open coffeebean-like eyes, wide mouth with full lips, triangular nose, high, convex forehead, cascading coiffure, protruding umbilicus, and, diamond-shaped tattoos carved in relief on the belly and in horizontal lines on the lower back and upper thighs. The figure stands with slightly flexed knees and with its arms bent at the elbows such that its palms rest upon the breasts, a pose commonly seen throughout Luba figural depictions of women.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Power Figure
1875 – 1885
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.215
This set of bellows features an elegantly carved male head as a finial. Sitting atop a cylindrical neck that has been pierced with a metal ring, the polished male head features an ovoid face; a high forehead with a vertical line; scarified lines across the cheekbones; and, a coiffure with a finely, detailed pattern at the front and parted down the center.<br />
The man’s “torso” is a trapezoidal piece of wood while two long iron rods functioning as handles represent his “legs.” A pair of round chambers—one on each side of his torso—would originally have had leather bags attached to them, allowing for the pumping of air to heat a fire or forge.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Bellows
1925 – 1935
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.217

Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Stool
1875 – 1900
Gift of Robert and Lillian Montalto Bohlen
2008/2.293
With head.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Kakishi
Gift and partial purchase from the estate of Kurt Delbanco in honor of Nicholas Delbanco
2017/1.645
This zoomorphic Luba <em>nkisi mihake</em>, or “malevolent” power object, depicts a dog of a fierce and formidable character. Sculpted out of wood, the dog has been carefully covered in animal fur, creating a graphic mimetic effect. The dog’s tail stands nearly upright, signaling a commanding and attentive posture. Most striking, however, are the antelope horns, stuffed with medicinal substances, as well as the metal blades that have been affixed throughout the dog’s trunk and underbelly.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Power Figure
1925 – 1935
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.214
With a head.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Whistle
Gift and partial purchase from the estate of Kurt Delbanco in honor of Nicholas Delbanco
2017/1.679
With a human head finial and fine patina.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Horn
Gift and partial purchase from the estate of Kurt Delbanco in honor of Nicholas Delbanco
2017/1.671

Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Bowl
1900 – 1932
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis
2000/2.109

Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Katanga Cross Currency
1920 – 1930
Museum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art
1987/1.277
As one of a pair of delicately carved, ivory statuette-pendants, this female figure stands upright, as opposed to her counterpart whose head and upper body lean slightly forward. Both, however, have a round head with a convex face; large, coffeebean-shaped eyes; a rectangular mouth with prominent lips; a cylindrical neck; and, a coiffure decorated on the back with a cruciform pattern. Additionally, both female figures clutch their breasts in their hands. The statuettes have been pierced through, allowing them to suspend from a string.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Power Figure
1845 – 1855
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.220.1
Two carved female figures, holding one arm over each other's back, an the other resting on the stomach decorated with lozenge motifs and scarification patterns; one figure is wearing a rope around the middle. A curving shaft supports the figures, broadening from the metal tip at the bottom into two bulging forms, divided by a dark black line through the middle, and covered in a carved pattern of triangles and lines on both front and back. The staff is heavy, with a nice shiny patina.
Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Staff
1900 – 1940
Gift of Margaret H. and Albert J. Coudron
2001/2.76

Luba (Luba (culture or style))
Carved Wood Figure
1945 – 1955
Given in memory of Sidney H. Roberts
1987/1.242
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