Three types of African masks represent the three ranks of the Salampasu men's society: warriors, chiefs and hunters. All have a bulbous front under which are enshrined in narrow slits between which points an imposing triangular nose. The mouth opens on to teeth cut into spikes, which are shown here by metal spikes. The decorative use of copper and brass, in the form of a small circular headdress and the insertion of cabochons and upholstery nails, embellishes this copy which is divided into two contrasting tones, which helps to offer a sure vision. Eroded contours on the back of the mask. Living from hunting and agriculture, a warrior people, the Salampasu form a tribe of the Lulua group and are settled between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, east of the Kasai River. They are surrounded to the west and south of the Tschokwe and Lunda, and to the north and east of the Kete and Lwalwa. A hierarchy of masks, simple wooden masks kasangu and copper-covered masks mukinka , was associated with the warrior society mungongo (pl. bangongo). The wearing of these masks depended on a large contribution of cattle, beverages, or other material goods on the part of the aspirant who was initiated to an esoteric knowledge on the part of the other mask wearers. Despite the current dislocation of the warrior society, masks still appear today during male circumcision ceremonies. ( Africa , Prestel)
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