African art > Mask > Bembe mask
Alunga Bembe face mask (N° 18574)
Ex-collection Luxembourg African art.
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High concave orbits where a cross symbolizing the cardinal points are drawn make up the central element of this African mask surmounted by horns. Various lateral perforations have been arranged to fix the raffia or papyrus ornament which is absent today. This African mask Ibulu lya 'alunga (head of the alunga) was used during the tribal ritual of the male society, exercising social control over the clan and responsible for public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt. Evocative of a forest spirit, this tribal mask was kept in sacred caves and was displayed during festivals associated with hunting and ancestor worship. They also appeared during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami. Dark satin patina.
The Bembe ethnic group is a luba branch that would have left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighbors from the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc..
Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had an association bwami responsible for initiation and structuring the society but while the bwami was exclusive among the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Estimated dating||2ème motié xx°|
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