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Africa | Diviner from the Luba people of the DR Congo | ©Mary Nooter Roberts, 1988

White pigment and beads refer to the moon and suggest a Luba diviner's powers of insight and enlightenment during consultations. Photograph by Mary Nooter Roberts, 1988

Africa | Luba female diviner reading contents of a gourd, Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1988. Photo by Mary Nooter Roberts.

Luba female diviner reading contents of a gourd, Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Photo by Mary Nooter Roberts.

Sangoma fine-art-print traditional healer, cape town, townships, Peter Frank, photographer, Zulu, African Shamanism | Peter Frank Gallery | %description%

Sangoma fine-art-print traditional healer, cape town, townships, Peter Frank, photographer, Zulu, African Shamanism | Peter Frank Gallery | %description%

Africa | Figure from the Luba people of the DR Congo | Early 20th century | Likely to have had a religious or ceremonial purpose.

Africa - Figure from the LUBA people of the DR CONGO - Early century - Likely to have had a religious or ceremonial purpose.

Mbudye officials displaying emblems of office, including two lukasa memory boards and staff of office, Luba peoples, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Mary Nooter Roberts.

Mbudye officials displaying emblems of office, including two lukasa memory boards and staff of office, Luba peoples, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Mary Nooter Roberts.

Africa | Nyim Kot a-Mbweeky III wearing royal dress 'Bwaantshy'; royal headdress known as 'Ntshuum Aniym'; necklace 'Lashyaash' made of leopard teeth; sword 'Mbombaam'; lance 'Mbwoom Ambady'; drums of reign 'Pelambish'; basket 'Kweemishaam'l' and other items of royal adornment.  DR Congo, 1971 | ©Eliot Elisofon

The Pelambish (Royal Drum) - Nyim Kot a-Mbweeky III and his royal drums. Drums can represents social statues in Africa. The royal drums are only played in ceremonies involving a chief or a king.

Africa | A Kuba hunter, ca. 1950, holds a spear and wears his hunting regalia, including armbands and a fur headdress. Kasai province, Belgian Congo (today DR Congo) | © Otto Lang

congo-mondele: “ A Kuba hunter, ca. holds a spear and wears his hunting regalia, including armbands and a fur headdress.

Africa | A power figure (nkisi) from the Songye people of DR Congo | ca. early 1900s

Africa | A power figure (nkisi) from the Songye people of DR Congo | ca. early 1900s

Africa | Lidded calabash figure from the Luba people of DR Congo | Gourd, wood, feathers, natural fiber

Africa | Lidded calabash figure from the Luba people of DR Congo | Gourd, wood, feathers, natural fiber