Luluwa Central African Art between Heaven and Earth Constantine Petridis

Publication date:
29 Jun 2018
240 pages: 298 x 244mm
175 color + 25 b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World except for Benelux


Living in the region between the Lubudi and Kasai rivers in south central Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Luluwa people are known for their elaborately carved male and female figure sculptures, masks, and decorative arts. Constantine Petridis draws on first-hand accounts of numerous explorers, missionaries, colonial servants, anthropologists, and art historians who visited the region between the 1880s and the 1970s, to comprehensively situate the Luluwa’s ornate art in its original environment of production and use.  Through a close study of published and unpublished sources as well as museum objects and archival photographs, this book sheds new light on the historical context of one of central Africa’s most spectacular artistic legacies, whose creation presumably dates back to the second half of the 19th century.

Constantine Petridis is chair of the Department of the Arts of Africa and the Americas and curator of African art at the Art Institute of Chicago.