African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Pendé Mask
Kipoko Pende Mask, Mbundju (N° 13962)
The Kipoko (also known as Mukishi wa Mutsue or Mbundju) is a leader's mask associated with joy and thanksgiving. It is also used to close the initiation ceremonies: each young initiate has to swallow a food placed on Kipoko's circular chin strap while holding it by the ears. ("Pende", Strother) The sculptor valued the sensory organs of the Kipoko mask in order to recall the qualities required of the leader: listening, reflection, prudence and wisdom.
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Irregular surface, crusty, velvety patina. Green and white pigments on the base.
Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the eastern have settled on the banks of the Kasai river downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of the neighbouring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu, were imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the masks Mbuya , realistic, produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chef, the soothsayer and his wife, the prostitute, the possessed, etc. The masks of initiation and those of power, the minganji, represent the ancestors and occur successively during the same ceremonies, agricultural festivals, initiation rituals and circumcision mukanda, induction of the chief.
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