African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Zela mask

Zela mask (N° 23233)

In the southeastern region of Katanga, around the 1960s, the Zela, long subject to the Lubas whose customs and rites they borrowed, carved animal masks, like the Lubas and the Kundas. In 1970, the kifwebe company was subjected to a transformation which was accompanied by new masks. In the Zela and Kundas groups, however, this type of mask was manifested during secular theatrical ceremonies involving tales. Velvety matte patina.
Formerly subject to the Luba, then to the Lundas, the Zela have adopted a large part of their customs and traditions. Established between the Luvua River and Lake Kisalé, they are today organized into four chiefdoms under the supervision of leaders of Luba origin. They venerate a primordial couple frequently represented in statuary, mythical ancestors, and dedicate offerings to the spirits of nature. In addition to their powerful Mbudye society, the Zela also have a women's initiation association called kisungu. ( Luba , Roberts, 5 Continents; "Treasures of Africa" ed. of the Museum of Tervuren; "Kifwebe" F. Neyt, ed 5Continents).  


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OriginEx-collection française
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm32
Width18 cm
Weight0.40 Kg
Socle inclusOptional

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