African mask of the Metoko , Mituku , usually displayed at funerals. The network of parallel lines, related to traditional scarification, reveal the status of the embodied character, a dignified old man who had been a victim of witchcraft, kakungu, whose pupils are exorbitant.
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The Mbole, Yela, Lengola, and Metoko ethnic groups, whose iniatic societies include similarities, live on the left bank of the Zaire River, the Lualaba region in the former Katanga. The plastic works of these groups also have similarities.
Their society ,the Butoka , welcoming both men and women, is the equivalent of the Bwami association of the Lega. The sculptures, often geometric and decorated with colored patches, played a role in the context of initiation ceremonies, and were then placed on the graves of high rank initiates. Each of these figures had a name, as in lega traditions, referring to behaviors symbolized by characters.
The two higher ranks, nkumi and kasimbi ,enjoyed the prerogative of holding certain objects of worship.
( ref: Art ande Life in Africa, C.D.Roy , "L'Art africain" Kerchache , Paudrat, Stephan.)
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|Origin||Ex. coll. belge L. Van Liere|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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