MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Luba Wooden Comb
Object Name:
Comb, Wood
Other Name:
Comb, Wood, Luba Head
Place of Origin:
Luba, Congo, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 5—3/4"
W = 2—3/4"
D = 1—1/2"

The Luba produced numerous prestige objects, which were adorned with figures and were used during official ceremonies, or to display wealth.
Added 4/28/16: Figural combs of this kind are common among people of central and West Africa. They are embellished with figures, heads, and other motifs borrowed from local sculpture, textile, and wickerwork. In the Luba culture, combs are important implements for beauty as elaborate hairstyles were seen as a mark of civilization. Combs were used to ornament ceremonial hairstyles and to untangle the hair afterwards.

Bacquart, P. 156

Comb with six teeth. Luba head finial with pointed chin, slit protruding mouth, flat nose, slit deepset eyes. Headdress well back on head forming large forehead. Series of inverted D—shaped designs on breast area. Black patina over entire surface.
Finley Collection
Wood W/Patina
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
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Rear ViewRear View