African art > Mask > Masque Bembe
Masque Bembe du Bwami (N° 18163)
Large concave eye sockets, in which the globular eyelids are incised, dominate in this African mask Bembe. The horns of the forehead are born from the same base. The frightened owl would have inspired these zoomorphic characters. A rectangular mouth is incised with teeth. These masks accompanied the rituals of passage during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami.Patine polychrome mate.
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The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch line that is believed to have left Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendency are influenced by their neighbouring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring for society but while the Bwami was exclusive to the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe, the Elanda societies and Alunga.Au the Bwami, and art objects such as masks and statues were intended to help aspirants to Kindi, the highest grade, to remember the moral rules they had to know and apply.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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