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

Kumu, Komo mask (N° 20500)

Among early art masks, this African mask named Nsembu occurred in male-female pairs, and was used by the soothsayer society Nkunda within the clans living in the northern Uituri region.
The surface is coated with a polychrome stippling, an allusion to the animal world, and to the colored pigments that adorn the bodies on the occasion of initiation rites.
Matt patina.
Misses on the contours and cracks of desiccation.
Height on adapted base: 36 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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OriginCollection allemande
EthnyKumu
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height23
Width16
Weight0.60 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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