The Kuba (also named the Bushoong for the most influential
chiefdom in the Kuba confederacy) founded a powerful state, located in the
south-central part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kuba 'Ndop (c) Collection David Norden
Henry Sheppard (1865-1927), an African American missionary for the
American Presbyterian Congo Mission, who later became an outspoken critic
of King Léopold's regime, was the first overseas visitor to reach the
kingdom's capital in 1890. The Kuba, famous for their arts, subsequently
attracted many visitors, ranging from anthropologists to photographers,
who sought to depict the legendary kings, the visual splendor of the royal
court and important chiefs, among them Chief Ndombe of Bieeng. Casimir
Zagourski, who traveled through the royal capital in the 1930s, took a
classic, often-published portrait of then ruler Kot Mabiinc (ruled
1919-1939), who was paralyzed. Eliot Elisofon (1911-1973), an American
photographer who worked for Life magazine, followed in Zagourski's
footsteps in 1947, creating evocative portraits of Kot Mabiinc's
successor, Mbop Mabiinc maMbeky (ruled 1939-1969). Photographic encounters
in the capital became commonplace and orchestrated--grand performances for
the cameras of the Westerners. Kuba kings used the opportunity to further
the reputation of the Kuba as the foremost artists in central Africa.
I have several Kuba masks in stock, ask for pictures.
Mbop Mabiinc maMbeky (ruled 1939-1969), king of the Kuba, Nsheng, Belgian Congo
Eliot Elisofon (1911-1973)
1947, silver gelatin print
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
National Museum of African Art
22923, P 5/8
found at: nmafa.si.edu
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Luba- Lion king
Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart
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