Definition of Luba in English:



  • 1A member of a people living mainly in SE Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire).

    • ‘Masks, on the other hand, have been less important to the Bakongo than to other people, such as the Luba.’
    • ‘The vendors who came to my house in Lubumbashi in the early 1970s claimed to be selling old sculptures from the Luba, Songye, and other peoples of southeastern Zaire, not recent products made to look old.’
    • ‘The label for the chief's staff and the Sowei mask discuss how the Luba and Mende still use identical or similar works for this purpose.’
    • ‘But, he continues, according to Nkoya oral sources, their migration into Zambia from what is now Zaire was led by a female ruler Lbupe, a Luba, from an area around the Lualaba river before the rise of the Luba-Lunda kingdom of Mwatiamvwa.’
    • ‘You're right: if it's true it's a reversal of the motivation among the Luba.’
  • 2[mass noun] The Bantu language of the Luba, with about 8 million speakers.

    Also called Chiluba


  • Relating to the Luba or their language.

    • ‘In doing so, they adopted both the Luba strategy of ‘lineage powerbrokering’ and Lunda political insignia and institutions like perpetual kinship to spread their rule.’
    • ‘They came primarily from the Luba and Lunda tribes of southern Democratic Republic of Congo and northern Angola but were joined in the 19th century by Ngoni peoples from the south.’
    • ‘Among the pieces is a singular Luba hunter figure.’
    • ‘Also representing mnemonic devices in the exhibition was a Luba lukasa, or ‘memory board,’ which helped oral historians recall such things as family histories and culture heroes.’
    • ‘All these peoples consist of a mixture of local populations known as either Kete or Bindi, on the one hand, and Luba immigrants from Katanga, on the other.’
    • ‘Roberts writes that Luba royal stools, as well as those of their neighbors, are symbolic embodiments of authority, conduits for collective memory, and envoys that extend geographic and cultural borders.’
    • ‘That was a concept I hadn't encountered until I saw the Luba pieces, and it thrilled me, the idea of woman's body, abstractly replicated as a lukasa, a memory board.’
    • ‘He does, however, cite the chief ‘Kosch’ of the ‘Koschi’ as one of the great Luba chiefs.’
    • ‘Between 1500 and 1800 the Lunda and Luba people traveled from the Congo and became a powerful group.’
    • ‘High points were the beaded regalia of Yoruba and Luba diviners.’
    • ‘They were Lower Congo, Kuba, Luba, and a combined Northern style, composed of the Northeastern and Northwestern Congo.’
    • ‘Yes, he knows how to make objects in the Lega, Songye and Luba styles.’


A local name.