Lot: 219

92nd Tribal Art Auction

Ceremonial ax "kibiki" or "kasolwa"

D. R. Congo, Luba

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
German Private Collection
Sotheby's, Paris, 13 June 2018, Lot 83
L: 16.1 inch (shaft) / 9.1 inch (blade) 6000 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, metal, base Beyond their role as prestige emblems, axes carry more profound messages in Luba royal ritual, playing a central role in the rites of "mbudye", the association responsible for inducting persons into royal office. In a symbolic sense, the axes "clear the way" for a functioning society with intact social and moral values. The engravings on the axe blades are called "ntapo", they also serve to convey certain messages.


Roberts, Mary Nooter, Memory, New York 1996, p. 76 f.