African initiation mask, Mbuya embellished with a basketry and raffia cloth headdress. The patina results from a mixture of ochre bark and palm oil.
Height on base: 54 cm.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern Pende have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu have been imprinted on their extensive tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the Mbuya masks , realistic, produced every ten years, have a festive function, and embody different characters difficult to differentiate without their costume, including the chief fumu or ufumu, the diviner and his wife, the prostitute,the jester, tundu , the possessed, etc.... The Mbuya initiation masks linked to the mukanda initiation and those of power, the minganji, represent the ancestors and occur successively during the same ceremonies, agricultural festivals, initiation rituals and mukanda circumcision, enthronement of the chief. ( Art and Life in Africa, C.D. Roy ; "Pende" Strother)
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