African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kete mask

Kete/Bena Lulua mask (N° 20559)

Rare African Kete Lulua mask, intervening during a funeral. The chin and the contours of the mouth are coated with a thick film of kaolin, locally flaked, the fine lines being concentrated under a wide helmeted forehead with a horned protrusion. Old burgundy inlays around the eyes. Height on base: 52 cm. The Kete, established between the Luba and the Songye, mixed with the Kuba and the Tschokwe and derive their subsistence from hunting, fishing with nets, and agriculture. Their matrilineal society worships nature spirits named mungitchi through offerings and incantations. Believing in reincarnation, they also fear a supreme god called mboom . The rituals of their initiation societies are different from those of the Kuba. Some Kete villages once paid a tax to the Kuba king. Groups borrowed masks from their neighbors or picked up certain features and combined them with their own creations. The itoom rubbing oracles are thought to be originally a Kete production. Their masks which are worn by initiates or their instructors as the case may be are associated with initiation ceremonies and funeral rituals.  

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Originex-collection britannique
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight1.69 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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