African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bembe masker

Bembe masker (N° 20411)

High concave orbits where a cross is drawn symbolizing the cardinal points make up this African mask this African mask topped with horns. The raffia or papyrus ornament, now missing, was attached to the perforations in the contours.
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 public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt.
Evocation of a forest spirit, this tribal mask was kept in sacred caves and it was during the festivals associated with the hunt and ancestor cults that it was displayed. They also appeared during Bwami circumcision ceremonies. Dark satin patina.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba offshoot 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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OriginEx-collection espagnole
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm41
Width24 cm
Weight2.10 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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