No image available

Staff of Office (upper segment)

Staff of Office (upper segment)

early-mid 1800s

Part of a set. See all set records


Overall: 170 cm (66 15/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2004.85.a

Did you know?

Besides prestige emblems and symbols of power, these staffs were also historical documents that could be “read” like a sculptural map from top to bottom.


Sanctified by a ritual specialist and enhanced with medicinal substances, the staff possessed supernatural qualities and was endowed with healing power. Luba staffs are among the most important regalia of Luba kings. The metal point alludes to the kingdom's stability and durability. Each staff has its own distinctive iconography to reflect regional styles.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email