Peoples & Societies


In the 18th century, a group of farmers and hunters of Luba origin, known as the Lulua peoples, migrated from West Africa to the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The three hundred thousand Lulua live in independent villages ruled by a local chief in conjunction with a council of elders. The Lulua are known for crafting masks that are performed during initiation rites. Their culture underwent extreme changes in the late 19th century when the Lulua king prohibited the tradition of drinking palm wine, encouraged ritualized smoking of hemp, and burned all cult images.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 303.

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