Respecting Our Women!

On the question of “Respecting Women”, I came across a figure  (at the Brooklyn Museum exhibit), which “epitomized the sensibility of Luba carvers when rendering the image of a woman”.[1]

Luba Carving - Water pipe

The description of this figure reads as follows:

The female figure holding her breasts is the most common motif in Luba art. The gesture has multiple levels of meaning, symbolizing respect,nurturing, and the role of women as mothers. The representation of a woman is also significant since the Luba trace descent through the female line. The female figure additionally references the belief that women hold secrets, especially the secrets of male kings and chiefs, within their breasts.[2]

The other figure, displayed at the National Museum of African Art in Washington displays similar characteristics.

Gourd - Luba Tribe

In buying or collecting African Tribal art and researching the associated histories one may find differences due to the fact that tribes may be nomadic rather than settled, or follow patrilineal, matrilineal, or cognatic descent principles.

My questions are fairly simple.

How did we move from Tribal societies which lavish respect and adoration on our women, to a modern society which brazenly denigrates our women on a regular basis in the most popular vocal art-forms of Rap and Hip-Hop?

Why do we languish in destructive social patterns without taking responsibility for finding ways to protect and instruct young children in social norms which sustain our family units?

How do we fix this??


[1] The Tribal Arts of Africa, Jean-Baptiste Bacquart – p 158

[2] African Art, A Century at the Brooklyn Museum – p 255

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