African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Vili mask

Vili mask (N° 22623)

This type of African mask would have been the prerogative of the nganga, diviner-priest. The largely hollowed-out gaze and the eyelids underlined in red would reflect the mediumistic capacities, which the Kongo thought they favored by taking hallucinogenic substances. This type of mask was called ngobudi. Brilliant polychrome patina.
Height on base: 438 cm.
These mediating masks, also present in initiation processes, were used by witch doctors during healing rituals. At the same time, they also served to identify individuals who, through their actions, could disturb the harmony of the community. In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the borders between the current DRC, Angola and Gabon. The "ntotela" king controlled the appointment of court and provincial officials.  

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OriginRécolté in-situ 1994
EthnyVili
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm25
Width13 cm
Weight0.83 Kg
Socle includedYes

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