This intricately carved statue of a mother holding her pregnant belly is a Luluwa maternity figure. It belongs to Bwanga Bwa Cibola which is a social association among the Luluwa people that deals with issues of human fertility. Within this society are ritual healers known as mpaka manga who are believed to have mystical powers of controlling and directing supernatural forces. They are often called upon to boost fertility and protect expecting mothers, newborns and small children.
The figure conforms to accepted norms of beauty in the Luluwa culture. The figure's long neck express positive aesthetic values. The lines on the neck are scarification patterns or a necklace. Women of status would wear specific necklaces that woudld signify their rank. The large head and high forehead are indicators of beauty that also symbolize intelligence and willpower. The strong mascular features in the figure suggest a capacity for hard work, a quality that is sought after by men choosing a partner.
This Luluwa figure is in good condition.
Measurements: 14" tall, 3" wide