African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Zande mask
Zande mask (N° 22356)
Ex-French African art collection.
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Shallow African Zande or Nzakara mask, incised with patterns corresponding to the scarifications, embellished with teeth and a metal ring. Thick locally chipped brown patina, abrasions.
Height on base: 48 cm.
Formerly referred to as "Niam-Niam" because they were considered cannibals, 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 is transformed upon his death into an animal-totem of the clan to which he belongs. The African tribal art of the Zande, or "those who own a lot of land", apart from their court art consisting of spoons, receptacles, pipes and harps, counts two types of statues: Kudu statues with a height between 30 and 50 cm represent ancestors. There are also so-called Yanda statues of 10 to 20 cm, in animal or human form, having an apotropaic role, exhibited during the divinatory rites during the rituals of the Mani-Yanda society. The leaders of this association gathered a dozen statues on an altar in a hut in the heart of the forest.
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