African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kuba mask
Kuba mask (N° 21435)
Deformity in African art
Bulbous forehead and shaved temples for this mask decorated with a polychrome pastillage on a blackened background, and which is distinguished by its outraged, deformed features, evoking a disease. The eyes are reduced to a series of perforations. Polychrome matt patina, abrasions.
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Height on base: 41 cm.
More than twenty types of masks are used among the Kuba, 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 masks have been associated with dances that take place in the royal compound: the first, known as Moshambwooy, represents Woot, the founder of the Bushoong, the hero of the culture. The second, known as Nady Amwaash (Ngaady Un Mwash), embodies the wife/sister of Woot, a character that would have been introduced in order to give more importance to the role of women. The third mask is called Bwoom. As a character, Bwoom has been variously interpreted as a prince (younger brother of the king), a man of the people, a pygmy, even a subversive element in the royal court.
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|Origin||Ex-collection belge L. Van Liere|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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