African art > Mask > Pende Mask
Pende Mask (N° 14749)
This small African initiation mask, Mbuya , depicts a woman soothsayer Nganga Ngombo, the lozenge bleached on the forehead and jaw testifying. This African mask that is not a face mask expresses the feminine and masculine qualities of the soothsayer.
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The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Easterners have settled on the banks of the Kasai river downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of the neighbouring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu, were imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the mbuyamasks , realistic, produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody different characters difficult to differentiate without their costume, including the chef fumu or ufumu, the soothsayer and his wife, the prostitute, the jester, tundu, the possessed, etc. The Mbuya initiation masks linked to the initiation mukanda and those of power, the minganji , represent the ancestors and occur successively during the same ceremonies, agricultural festivals, rituals of initiation and circumcision mukanda, induction of the chief. (Art and Life in Africa, C.D. Roy; "Pende" Strother)
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