African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kumu mask

Kumu, Komo, Ituri mask (N° 20807)

Among first art masks, this African mask named Nsembu occurred in male-female pairs, and was used by the Nkunda society of diviners among the clans living in the northern Ituri region.
The surface is studded with grpahic signs, an allusion to the animal world and to the patterns that adorn bodies during initiation rites.
Matt patina. Crack of dessciation.
Height on adapted base : 78 cm.
The Kumu, Bakumu, Komo, live primarily in the northeast and central 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.  

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OriginEx-collection italienne
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, raphia
Height cm26
Width26 cm
Weight2.42 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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