African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Zande mask
Zande mask (N° 20803)
Among the great stylistic variety of Zande sculptures, this mask takes up the features of some of their ancestor statues often appearing in pairs. The eyes pierced under a continuous, protruding arch of the eyebrows, the rounded cheeks and the metal rings are among the distinctive features of their faces.
Grainy satin patina.
Height on base: 43 cm.
Formerly known as "Niam-Niam" because they were considered to be anthropophagous, the tribes grouped under the name of Zande, Azandé, settled from Chad on the border of the DRC (Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two souls, one of which transforms into the animal-totem of the clan to which he belongs upon his death. The African tribal art of the Zande, or "those who own a lot of land", apart from their court art composed of spoons, receptacles, pipes and harps, has two types of statues: Kudu statues, 30 to 50 cm high, represent ancestors. There are also statues known as Yanda of 10 to 20 cm, of animal or human form, having an apotropaic role, exposed during the divinatory rites during the rituals of the Mani-Yanda society. The leaders of this association grouped about ten statues on an altar in a hut in the forest.
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Ref : "100 People of Zaire and their sculpture" M.L.Félix.