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The Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo created one of the world's great decorative art traditions, producing an unparalleled variety of objects for personal use. In addition to their king figures, considered among the great sculptural achievements of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Kuba also created a variety of masks and other initiation-related works directly associated with men's societies, whose primary purpose continues to be the enculturation of youth into the core values of society and the veneration of the dead. This book illustrates major examples of Kuba sculpture and decorative arts, for the most part produced in wood. The authors explore the historical and cultural dynamics underlying the proliferation of art-production and the desire for personal advancement within the political and economic spheres from the seventeenth century until the post-colonial period.
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