Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1883 Songye zappo-zap
Subjectzappo-zap mercenary / slaver
Culture: Songye-Luba
Setting: Belgian Congo late 19th-early 20thc
Objectkasuyu, kibiki, kasolya ax

* Dallas Museum of Art
Zaire: Bandundu region or northern Angola,
Luba peoples,
19th-20th century
Iron, wood, and brass" ...

* Museum of Fine Arts
"Prestige axe
Unidentified artist or workshop
Nsapo/Songye peoples, 
Democratic Republic of the Congo
20th century
Metal, wood" ...

* Museum of Fine Arts
"Prestige Axe
Unidentified artist or workshop
Nsapo/Songye peoples,
Democratic Republic of Congo
20th century
Wood, copper sheet metal, iron" ...

* Higgins Armory Museum > Scimitars to Samurai: Arms around the World
"Kasuyu (ceremonial axe), 1800s
Songe [sic] or Tetela people
Iron; copper; wood
Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz." ...

​> event photos

​* Kimbell Art Museum > The Language of Beauty in African Art
"Ceremonial Axe (Kibiki or Kasolwa)  
19th century  
Luba: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Wood, pigment, copper, and iron  ....
Luba axes are symbols of rank that the owner will typically hook over his left shoulder, with the head and the blade facing backward.  They serve primarily to commemorate the culture hero Kalala Ilunga, the legendary founder of Luba kingship who introduced metallurgy and advanced hunting techniques.  Though they might also have been owned by spirit mediums, diviners, and secret association members, all of whom routinely called upon the spirit world for the success of their work, the capper strips seen on this example indicate that it was meant for a royal context.  The female head alludes to the women's roles as keepers of royal secrets."​

* Harber Wildlife Museum