African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Pende mask
Large Pende Nsembu "epileptic" mask (N° 20379)
Deformity in tribal art
The Pende Mbangu "sickness" masks illustrate, by their deformed features, the patient in epileptic seizure or the result of facial paralysis caused by witchcraft rituals. In many tribal cultures, however, epilepsy is seen as a divine seal on an individual who is able to communicate with the spiritual world in this way.
The dancer wearing this comedy mask is wearing a hat made of gifuatu guinea fowl, coucal or touraco feathers, or the lumbandu , a crown of leaves. It is also often equipped with a hump on the back, then exaggerating the disabled aspect of the character.
This is a large mask.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern Pende have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu have been imprinted on their extensive tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the Mbuya masks , realistic, produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chief fumu or ufumu, the diviner and his wife, the prostitute, the jester, tundu , the possessed, etc...
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Estimated dating||2ème halfxx°|
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