African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Alunga mask

Bembe Alunga mask (N° 20414)

A face with large concave orbits, a nose and a mouth reduced, form this African mask surmounted by a growth evoking horns. To the perforations of the contours came to fix the ornament of raffia or papyrus today absent.
This African mask Ibulu lya 'alunga (head of the alunga)was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Alunga, exercising social control over the clan, and responsible for the public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt. Evocation of a forest spirit, this tribal mask was kept in sacred caves and it was during festivals associated with the hunt and ancestor cults that it was displayed. They also appeared during the Bwami circumcision ceremonies.
Two-tone light patina.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that is said to 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 a bwami association 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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OriginCollection belge
EthnyBembe
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height44
Width20
Weight1.70 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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