Bena Lulua Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
height 8 3/8 (21.3cm)
John J. Klejman, New York, 1954
Ben Heller Collection, New York
Sotheby's, New York, December 1983, lot 25
Private Collection, England
"The Luluwa, in the southwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, regarded physical perfection and beauty as a sign of moral integrity. Ornamental scars were considered to be one of the most important expressions of the concept. Further signs were a large head, a long neck and a high forehead." (Sibeth, et. al., 2009: p 126)
These features are prevalent in the present work which has an extraordinary aura of mystique and serenity with an almost leathery surface patina, particularly on the face.