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Shankadi Luba water pipe DRC Wood, brass, copper H.: 27 cm. Water pipe with a copper-ringed pipe bowl and a female effigy wearing the shankadi headdress (stepped headdress). The pipe is placed on the head causing a tubular cranial extension set with a copper ring. The hands are positioned on either side of the chest and the abdomen is decorated with scarifications in relief. The function of water pipes is to attenuate the harshness of the tobacco. The smoke was sucked from thestove through the fresh water of the bulb. Female effigies are common in Luba art. Women are regarded as spiritual mediums and have a role as political intermediaries and protect the secrets of royalty. Object made specifically for colonial trade with an obvious decorative interest.Consultant : Jean-Pierre LACOSTE

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