African art > Mask > Hemba Mask

Hemba Ibombo ya soho mask (N° 12979)

The Hemba are a subgroup of the Luba ethnic group living in southeastern DR Congo, east of the Lualaba River, best known for their statuary representing chiefs. The pieces called soko mutu , suku muntu , (from Swahili, man brother, and KiHemba, ibombo ya soho : 'monkey face') belonged to the cult of ancestors and existed in two forms: on the one hand large masks used during ritual dances, and on the other hand, small masks or statuettes used as gifts, were hung in the boxes as protective amulets. These masks have recently been renamed mwisi gwa so'o , which expresses a concept that it is a chimpanzee spirit that would be incarnated in the mask. The asymmetrical, split eyes are separated from a ribbed nasal appendage as a central extension of the eyebrow arch. A large slit evoking a smile has been arranged according to the contours of the jaw. Ritual arings have given the wood a grainy appearance with a velvety feel. Slight gaps on the edges on the back of the mask. Source: Art and life in Africa , C D. Roy. and ' The other face Ed. Adam Biro.  

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Originex-collection Docteur Cordier
EthnyHemba
CountryCongo
Material(s)wood
Height30
Width25
Weight0.80 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1970
Socle inclusOptional

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