African art > African mask > Salampasu Mask

Mask Salampasu Mukinka (N° 18699)

Ex-collection Italian African tribal art.
Metal inlays arranged in a remarkable grid decorate this African Salampasu mask. Under a bulbous forehead devoid of eyebrow line, the triangular eyes contrast with the ample nasal volume. The mouth is gaping, revealing carved teeth. The headdress is organized in black-tinted wicker balls. Perforations on the circumference retained the raffia ornament to conceal the dancer during ceremonies related to the society of warriors and initiation rites. At funerals, masks could also be displayed in connection with the deceased's previous initiations, often for a fee. The power of some masks was so feared that their name alone could drive away women and children. Living from hunting and agriculture, warrior people, the Salampasu form a tribe of the Lulua group and are settled between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, east of the Kasai River. They are surrounded to the west and south by the Tschokwe and the Lunda, and to the north and east by the Kete and the Lwalwa. A hierarchy of masks, simple wooden masks kasangu and copper-covered masks mukinka , was associated with the warrior society mungongo (pl. bangongo ). The wearing of these masks depended on a large contribution of livestock, drinks, or other material goods from the aspirant who was initiated into esoteric knowledge by the other mask wearers. ( Africa , Prestel)  

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OriginEx-collection italienne
EthnySalampasu
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, copper, plant fibre
Weight0.90 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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