African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Komo masker
Komo, Kumu, Biangolo masker (N° 20420)
The masks nsembu of the Kumu appear in pairs at the enthronement or funeral of the diviner. Combining two contrasting colors, it personifies the spirit of divination.
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The Kumu , Bakumu, Komo, live mainly in the northeast and center in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their Bantu language is Komo or Kikomo . Several ethnic groups are closely intertwined, with similar associations: the Mbole, Yela, Lengola, and Metoko. Their artistic production also has great similarities with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were exhibited at the closing ceremonies of the initiation and circumcision of the youth of the nkunda society.
It is indeed in the Maniema region around the Lualaba River and the Great Lakes that Lega sculpture has largely exerted its influence. A costume made of bark textiles and plant fibers concealed the wearer. Biebuck would have noted a great similarity between the rituals accompanying the appearance of Kumu masks and those of the muminia masks of the Lega.
Litt. "The soul of Africa" S. Diakonoff; "Art and Life in Africa" C.D. Roy; "Art without Parallel, Marvelous Objects from the Royal Museum of Central Africa" ed. J. Volper.
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