The Luba were famous as wood carvers. Particularly noteworthy were ceremonial masks, and such symbols of kingship as ceremonial canes, bracelets, and axes.

We have lots of Luba wood carvings here at Adyeri. Come check them out!

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Luba People

The Luba people, or Baluba, are one of the Bantu peoples of Central Africa, and the largest ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are indigenous to the Katanga, Kasai, and Maniema regions which were historic provinces of present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. They speak the Luba-Kasai, Luba-Katanga, and Swahili languages. The Kingdom of Luba was a pre-colonial Central African state, which arose in the marshy grasslands of the Upemba Depression in what is now southern Democratic Republic of Congo. The Luba had a wealth of natural resources such as gold, ivory, copper, frankincense and ebony but they also produced and traded a variety of goods such as pottery and masks. 


The Luba first appeared as a people around the 5th century AD, in the marshes of the Upemba Depression, in what is now the southeastern portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo known as the Katanga region. In the marshes of the Upemba Depression, large scale cooperation was necessary to build and maintain dikes and drainage ditches. This kind of communal cooperation also made possible the construction of dams to stock fish during the long dry season. By the 6th century the Luba were working in iron and trading in salt, palm oil, and dried fish. They used these products to trade for copper, charcoal (for iron smelting), glass beads, iron and cowrie shells from the Indian Ocean. Around 1500, possibly earlier, the Luba began to coalesce into a single, unified state, under the leadership of kings ruling by divine sanction. The mulopwe, or king, was drawn from the balopwe, a group who acted as intermediaries between the world of mankind and the world of spirits and ancestors. The mulopwe had three sources of power: He headed a secular hierarchy of governors and under-governors, running down to local village headmen. He collected tribute from local chiefs, which was then redistributed in the form of gifts to loyal followers. In practice this tribute system amounted to a network of state controlled trade. The mulopwe commanded significant spiritual prestige. He was the head of the Bambudye (or Mbudye) secret society, to which all kings, chiefs and officials belonged. The Bambudye society, which included both men and women, transcended kinship lines and helped knit the realm together. Bambudye “Men of Memory” preserved the tribes oral tradition. The Luba system of ceremonial kingship proved durable enough to spread across much of Central Africa, being adopted, with modifications, by the Lunda, Lozi and other peoples. From around 1585 the Luba expanded rapidly, securing control of copper mines, fishing, and palm oil cultivation. After c.1700, the Luba acquired maize and cassava (manioc). These new crops allowed a substantial increase in population and stimulated economic growth. This in turn added to the power and prestige of the royal authority. Between c. 1780 and 1870 the Luba kingdom reached its height under three strong rulers: Ilunga Sungu (c. 1780-1810), his son Kumwimbe Ngombe (c. 1810-1840), and Ilunga Kabale (c. 1840-1874). Via intermediaries, the Luba traded from the Portuguese outposts in Angola to the Indian Ocean. Cross-shaped copper ingots and raffia cloth served as currency in a trading network where arrow poisons, drums, animal hides, ivory and dried fish were bartered for cattle, cotton, beads, iron, tools and implements.