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20 JULY 2012

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Memory Board (Lukasa)

"Lukasa, or memory boards, are hand–held wooden objects that present a conceptual map of fundamental aspects of Luba culture. They are at once illustrations of the Luba political system, historical chronicles of the Luba state, and territorial diagrams of local chiefdoms. Each board's design is unique and represents the divine revelations of a spirit medium expressed in sculptural form. While many lukasa utilize a system of denotation based on masses of shells and beads affixed to their wooden surfaces, this example communicates its content through incised designs and images carved in relief."

(The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Fig.1 "Memory Board (Lukasa) [Democratic Republic of Congo; Luba] (1977.467.3)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works–of–art/1977.467.3 (October 2006).

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TAGS

19th century • ancestress • ancestry • arcane knowledge • art historybeads • carapace • carved relief • carvingchart • chevron • chief • chiefdom • circular elements • collectionconceptual mapconceptual metaphorcrocodilecultural formsculture • decipher and interpret • Democratic Republic of Congo • denote • diagram • divine revelations • facehand-heldHeilbrunn Timeline of Art Historyhistorical chronicleshistorical figuresillustrationinformation aestheticsinterdependenceinterpretation • kaloba • kikungulu • king • kitenta • Lolo Ina Nombe • Luba • lukasa • mbudye • memory • memory aid • memory board • Metropolitan Museum of Artmnemonicmotifmythologynotation • ovoid • physical geography • political organisation • political system • religious geography • representationsculptural formsculpturesymbolism • system of denotation • the spiritual world of ancestorstimeline • turtle • visual communicationvisualisationwood • wooden object • zoomorphic

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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