African art > African mask > Masque Cuba
Masque Bushoong Cuba Isheen imaalu (N° 17493)
Belgian African art collection.
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The spirits of nature, the ngesh , were supposed to be incarnated in the Kuba masks during the dances. The dancers' footprints were then erased so as not to 'injure' women venturing into the dance area. The mask appeared during the initiation ceremonies, sometimes at the funerals of notables. This warrior mask, not belonging to the royal masks, named Ishyeen imaalu and also Pwoom itok , belonged to the company babende. It features exorbited conical pupils highlighted by horn-shaped eyebrows that refer to warriors' hairstyles. Natural pigments, matte, harmoniously juxtaposed, numerous abrasions of use, break on the upper outline and native internal restorations.
The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the main tribe Bushoong which is still ruled by a king, and whose capital was Nshyeeng or Mushenge. More than twenty types of tribal masks are used in the Kuba or people of lightning, with meanings and functions that vary from group to group. Ritual ceremonies were an opportunity to display decorative arts and masks, in order to honor the spirit of the deceased or to honor the king. Three types of Kuba masks have been associated with dances that take place in the royal precinct: the first, called Moshambwooy , represents Woot , the founder of the Bushoong sub-tribe, the hero of culture. The second, known as Nady Amwaash (Ngaady Un Mwash), plays Woot's wife/sister, a character who would have been introduced to give more importance to the role of women. The third mask is called Bwoom . Source: Kuba 5Continents.
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|Estimated dating||mid-xx° acquit en 1970|
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