The Luba people or baLuba, are an ethno-linguistic group indigenous to the south-central region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Majority of them live in this country, residing mainly in its Katanga, Kasai, and Maniema provinces. The baLuba consist of many sub-groups who speak various dialects of Luba.
The baLuba developed a society and culture by about the 400s CE, later developing a well-organised community.
Art was well developed in the Luba culture. Pottery, articles crafted from iron (such as axes, bows and spears), wooden staff and carvings and parts clad in sheets of copper were routinely produced. A notable artform of the Luba people was the Mwadi, where the male ancestors were represent in their female incarnations of the ancestral kings.
According to scholars such as Daniel Kabozi, some of the intricate art works of the Luba people were mnemonic devices, a form of symbolic coded script to aid preserving information and recalling the history and knowledge of the Luba.
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