African art > Mask > Holo Mask
Small holo zoomorphic mask (N° 15042)
This mask is capped with a tiara consisting alternately of braided vegetable fibers, laces, necklaces of pink pearls arranged horizontally, rattan pad and animal skin. The almond-eyed face, incised, extends with a bifid beak. The surface of the wood, abraded, reveals an underlying light wood.
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Total height with base: 35 cm. Located in the Democratic Congo between the Yaka and the Tchokwé of Angola, the small Holo ethnic group migrated from the Angolan coast to settle near the banks of the Kwango River. Hunting and agriculture provide for their livelihood. Neighbouring ethnic groups, such as the Suku and Yaka, influenced their traditional sculptures. The Holos have produced hexagonal masks and prestige objects for the ruling elite. The Holos used sculptures, asexual anthropomorphic figures and bird effigies to guard against the influence of evil spirits, including the moon and the rainbow. These statues were placed near the houses as protection from lightning, or still inside the dwellings in order to attract the favor of the spirits over their owner. In "Chokwe and their Bantu Neighbours" (p.110), the author states that these figures hamba named kaponya wa pwo nyi cikungulu symbolize fertility and embody a nocturnal tutelary spirit.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, perles, plant fibre, coton|
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