Baluba dancer performing traditional dance at Kinshasa.
The Luba people also known as Baluba are a cluster of powerful ancient grassland and forest-dwelling hunters, kingdom-builders, highly spiritual cum agriculturalist Bantu-speaking 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. Their population is close to 14 million.
The Luba people who are also great traders and sits on great natural resources in Central Africa are renowned for creating the powerful pre-colonial African kingdom of Luba in the marshy grasslands of the Upemba Depression in what is now southern Democratic Republic of Congo. Archaeologists have shown that the area where the heart of the kingdom was situated, east of the Kasai River around the headwaters of the Lualaba River, was likely inhabited by the 5th century (CE), with the beginnings of the kingdom emerging by the 14th century. The Luba Kingdom's expanded and became great due to its development of a form of government that was durable enough to withstand the disruptions of succession disputes and flexible enough to incorporate foreign leaders and governments. Based on twin principles of sacred kingship (balopwe) and rule by council, the Luba model of statecraft which was adopted by the Lunda and spread throughout the region that is today northern Angola, northwestern Zambia, and southern Democratic Republic of Congo.