African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lwalwa mask

Lwalwa mask (N° 20760)

African masks Lwalwa, Lwalu.
The male mask nkaki, nkaaki, of red or brown color according to M.L. Felix, carved in wood mulela, is one of the four types of masks produced by the privileged caste formed by their carvers. These artisans, according to their merits, can become chiefs and organize dances, including the balango, during which acrobatics are performed by young dancers.
These masks are then displayed, or worn during initiation ceremonies, or to appease the spirits after an unsuccessful hunt.
A skullcap incised with geometrical motifs caps a face where the imposing straight nose, characteristic of the Lwalwa mask, surmounts a tubular mouth.
Satin red brown patina. Height on base: 47 cm. It is near the Kasai River that the Lwalwa reside, between Angola and Zaire. Historically having a matrilineal society, the Lwalwa after undergoing Luba and Songye influence, adopted a patrilineal system within their rudimentary political and social organization.
Litt. "100 People of Zaire and their sculpture" M.L. Felix(p.94-95).  

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OriginCollection P. Malisse
EthnyLwaLwa
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height30
Width18
Weight0.60 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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