Called Ishyeenmaal , Ishendemale or even Pwoom itok , this African mask Kuba/Bushoong has conical projecting pupils evoking those of the chameleon. The cut of the hairstyle was that of Kuba women. The mask features a matte patina. Abrasions and erosions.
Height on base: 36 cm.
The most prolific group of African art from Western Kasai, the Kuba, or lightning people, developed their art around the royal person. This prestigious culture was made famous by its masks, including the large royal masks, very elaborate objects of power used as currency between groups. Also famous are their Ndop royal statuettes and the "velvets of Kasai". Over twenty types of masks are used, with meanings and functions that vary from group to group. Ritual ceremonies were an opportunity to exhibit decorative arts and masks, in order to honor the spirit of the deceased or to honor the king.
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