African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bwaka mask

Bwaka mask (N° 22293)

Generally used in pairs, this mask was worn by members of the Wi-Limi society fighting against witchcraft and could be used during circumcision rituals. Distinguished by its large heart-shaped eye sockets, the color of which differs from the rest of the mask, this example has bone eyelids, the strong nose is pierced with a ring, and the narrow mouth is lined with metal teeth. A goatee has been sculpted under the chin.
Satin patina, contour erosions.
Tribe settled on the left bank of the Ubangui, the Ngbaka practice agriculture, and their artistic achievements were inspired by those of the neighboring tribes Ngbandi and Ngombe , with a distinctive feature however, the line of the forehead dotted with linear keloids. They are organized in tribes without political unity, under the tutelage of the chief wan and worship a god named Gale through the worship rendered to the spirits of nature. Young people are prepared for adult life through rituals called " gaza" and trained by ancient initiates, the bugaza. Their statues usually represent the primordial ancestors Setu and his sister Nabo and are placed on altars for propitiatory rites. The Ngbaka also produced musical instruments that punctuated the closing ceremonies of initiation and circumcision.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyNgbaka
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal
Height cm26
Width17 cm
Weight0.40 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle inclusOptional

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