African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Vili Mask
Vili Mask (N° 23941)
Mask of modest size associated with the diviner-healer, whose gaze is whitened and teeth cut.
Polychrome matte patina.
Present along the Gabonese coast, the Vili broke away from the Kongo kingdom in the 16th century and the Loango kingdom became a powerful state. Now urbanized for the most part, they still integrate traditional associations, depending on the worship of ancestors such as Mbouiti or Bieri. Like the Kongo group, in order to protect themselves against witchcraft and various plagues, they produce a wide variety of nkisi-type magic ritual objects. Their masks are used by the Ndunga or Djembe association, but also for the funerals of dignitaries and during traditional initiations. Still others are reserved for diviners.
The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembe, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the Kôngo group, led by King ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the trade in ivory, copper and the slave trade. With the same beliefs and traditions, they produced statuary endowed with codified gestures in keeping with their vision of the world.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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