bulistool.JPG (12496 bytes)

Stool in Buli style


The Luba is an ethnic group of a Bantu-speaking people residing in the south-eastern part of Zaire. They are farmers and fishermen. Formerly the Luba were united under a single ruler and now they comprise several autonomous chiefdoms. The Luba are known for their woodcarving and other arts.
The Luba is also a collective name for two different dialects spoken in Zaire. These are Tshiluba in Kasai, spoken by the Baluba-Kas and Kiluba in Katanga, spoken by the Baluba-Kat.
In the sixteenth century the kingdom with Luba and Lunda rulers was created. During the expansion and growth of the Lunda and Luba empires there was a lot of rivalry between two groups. The Lunda were able to keep advantages over the Luba although there was a big influence of the Luba on cultural life of their neighbours. In the Kasai province of Zaire the word Luba means "slave" because many Kuba slaves were of Luba origin.

Some of the finest Luba carvings are the ceremonial stools supported figures (right), most often in the form of a woman holding the seat, others held up by two figures, male and female - side by side or back to back.
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