Luba Prestige Drum
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
Material: Wood, leather, raffia
Size: 14" (35.6 cm)
These African art statues belong to the Baule, who refer to them as Blolo Bian (blolo man) and Blolo Bla (blolo woman). Blolo is simply a world invisible to common mortals and a mirror image of ours, it is a parallel universe, right beside the one of our normal sensory perception. There, behind the dividing membrane of air, which can almost be touched by stretched an arm out, the other side is peopled by spirits. The initial knowledge of ones otherworld mate usually comes from some sort of crisis in young adult life, normally of a sexual nature, such as sterility. The person facing the crisis would consult with a diviner (wunnzueyifue), and it would normally be found out that the problems are caused by the unhappiness or jealousy of ones neglected otherworld opposite. In these situations, the divination could reveal that it is necessary to represent this other world person by a carved statue, to which offerings of food or money could be made on a regular basis and that it is necessary to consecrate one night a week to this blolo person by sleeping alone.
Dreams and Reverie ~ Philip L. Ravenhill isbn: 1-56098-650-6
Visions of Africa: Baule ~ Alain-Michel Boyer isbn: 978-88-7439-386-2