African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kuba mask

Kuba mask (N° 20728)

This Kuba mask of a warrior, not belonging to the royal masks, named Ishyeen imaalu and also Pwoom itok , belonged to the babende society.
. It has exorbitant conical pupils highlighted by horns that refer to warrior headdresses. Polychrome patterns alternate on the satin surface.
Slight chips in the patina.
Nature spirits, the ngesh, were believed to be embodied in Kuba masks during dances. The footprints of the dancers were then erased so as not to "hurt" the women venturing into the dance area. This mask appeared during initiation ceremonies, sometimes at the funerals of notables. The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the main Bushoong tribe, which is still ruled by a king today, and whose capital was Nshyeeng or Mushenge. More than twenty types of tribal masks are used among the Kuba or "people of lightning," with meanings and functions that vary from group to group. Ritual ceremonies were an opportunity to display decorative arts and masks to honor the spirit of the deceased or to honor the king. Three types of Kuba masks have been associated with dances held in the royal compound: the first, called Moshambwooy , represents Woot , the founder of the Bushoong subtribe, the culture hero. The second, known as Nady Amwaash (Ngaady Un Mwash), embodies Woot's wife/sister, a character that would have been introduced to give more importance to the role of women. The third mask is called Bwoom . Source: "Kuba" 5Continents.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm45
Width25 cm
Weight0.80 Kg
Socle inclusOptional

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