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      The Luba people are also called the Baluba, they are Bantu-speaking people who inhabit the south-central Democratic Republic of the Congo.

       

       

       

      The Luba are a variety of people who speak closely related languages even though they are of different origins; they exhibit many common cultural traits and share a common political history with past members of the Luba empire. They have three main subdivisions, which are; the Luba-Shankaji of Katanga, the Luba-Bambo of Kasai, and the Luba-Hemba of Katanga and Southern Kiva.

       

       

       

      They are Savanna and forest dwellers who practice hunting, food gathering, and agriculture. They keep small livestock and live in villages of a single street, with rectangular thatched-roof huts along either side, they also fish the congo river.

       

       

       

      They practice women’s initiation and they also have associations with hunting, magic, and medicine. The Shankaji and Hemba are renowned wood carvers; they are especially known for their carvings of anthropomorphic figures, ceremonial axes, and headrests.

       

       

       

      Like every other ethnic group that believes in the existence of a supreme being, the Luba belief system includes the belief in the existence of a Universal Creator, Shakapanga. They believe in the afterlife, the communion between the living and the dead, and the observance of ethical conduct as a compulsory condition for being accepted into the village of the ancestors after death.

       

       

       

      To them, there are three important figures that constitute the supernatural world, they include, Leza who is the supreme God, mikishi or bavidye who are the various spirits and bankambo who are the ancestors that exist in the world of the living. There are also some other main figures, which are, kitobo or nsengha who are the priests, the nganga who is the healer, and the mfwintshi who is the witch, also the embodiment of evil and the antithesis of the will of the ancestors.

       

       

       

      The people of this ethnic group are ritual-practicing people; they pray, they sing, dance, make sacrifices, offerings, libations, and various rituals which include but are not limited to cleansing or purification and rites of passage. They communicate with the divine through prayers, interpretation of dreams, and the use of divination to consult the ancestors. Before any important decision, or to find out the cause of misfortune, they are in habit of consulting their gods.

       

       

       

      They believe in the notion of an authentic person embodied in a  good heart that has dignity and self-respect and this is the ultimate goal of their human existence.

       

       

       

      Power was not sovereign to one person, power was exercised by a body of people. Thus, the empire was governed by an oral constitution based on the will of the ancestors.

       

       

       

      There was a body of individuals that checked the behavior of the king and had the power to execute him if he displayed an abuse of power. There was an assumption that the king had to obey the mandate of heaven by ruling the people according to the ancestor’s will.

       

       

       

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