African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lele mask

Lele, Bashilele mask (N° 19300)

In the category of masks with a flat structure, this Lele mask presents features of low relief. The unusual hairstyle forms superimposed bands. Semi-satin patina.
The Lele , neighbors of the Tschokwe and Pende , live in the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoong of Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs. Their society, headed by a " nymi" king, includes three classes, that of the Tundu or war chiefs, the Batshwa ("those who reject the Tundu authority"), and the Wongo called after the neighboring ethnic group. The ritual ceremonies are under the authority of the elders, chiefs of each village who hold the secrets of medicinal plants. These elders once formed, with the parents of twins, spiritual intermediaries, the bangang brotherhood responsible for the initiation of young people. The carver is responsible for extracting palm wine, he also weaves raffia. He produces the ritual cups in which the palm wine is consumed to conclude an agreement.
Source: "Kuba", ed. 5continents, Binkley and Darish, "L'art africain", Mazenod.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyLele
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height31
Width17
Weight0.35 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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