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Lukasa (Memory Board): Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This bead-studded memory board, known as a lukasa, is an important tool of the powerful Mbudye association. Members are responsible for the preservation and teaching of history to younger generations, an essential and valued role in Luba society. Beads and engravings on the board encode genealogies, migrations, information about important individuals and chiefs, as well as royal secrets and maps. A single colored bead, for example, represents a specific individual, while a large bead, surrounded by smaller beads refers to a chief and his dignitaries. Lines of beads signify journeys or paths. The head at the top of the board represents Lolo Inang'ombe, the ancestral founder of Mbudye. She is symbolically linked with the tortoise, an emblem of royalty among the Luba.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009