African art > African mask > Bembe mask

Bembe Alunga mask (N° 19321)

Four orbits make up the central element of this African mask evoking a face. A raffia ornament decorates the contours. This African mask Ibulu lya 'alunga (head of the alunga) was used during the tribal ritual of male society, exercising social control over the clan and responsible for public dances and ceremonies before hunting. 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. Polychrome matt patina.
Ethnicity Bembe 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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Originex-collection Colmant
EthnyBembe
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, raphia
Height58
Width29
Weight3.90 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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