African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Salampasu Mask

Salampasu Mask (N° 13165)

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
The bulbous forehead of this African mask under which the tiny incisions of the eyes are embedded is one of the characteristics of Salampasu masks. The face reveals a nasal volume that widens dramatically towards a small quadrangular mouth with incised teeth. A white kaolin-clad headband limits the top of the mask, the lateral parts of which are adorned with cork growths evoking the scarifications of the Salampasu ethnic group. A mask of ceremonies related to the society of warriors and initiation rites, it was also exhibited at funerals, in connection with the deceased's previous initiations, and for a fee in many cases. The power of some masks is also so feared that their name alone can cause women and children to flee. Red ochre pigment residue. Restoration on one of the contours. Eroded wood. 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. ( Africa , Prestel)  

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Originex-collection belge
Height cm40
Width25 cm
Weight0.70 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1970
Socle inclusOptional

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