African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Mumuye Mask
Zoomorphic Mask Va, Vabou Mumuye (N° 19657)
Mumuye zoomorphic masks in African art
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Mumuye African masks were used during the ceremonies closing the initiatory periods of the " sons of va "... and during great events. Each group had a mask carved to symbolize its identity, buffalo, monkey, leopard, etc. ... which was called va or vabou .
This mask takes the form of a helmet whose angular top extends horizontally from a bird's head. Large gaping pupils have been arranged under this projection, giving a fantastic aspect to the object. Velvety matte patina with resinous residues.
The statuary emanating from the northwestern region of the Middle Benue, from the Kona Jukun, to the Mumuye and up to the Wurkun populations is characterized by a relative absence of ornamentation and a refined stylization. The 100,000 Adamawa language speakers form a group called Mumuye and are grouped into villages, dola , divided into two groups: those of fire ( tjokwa ) related to blood and the color red, guardians of the cult vabong , among whom are elected the chiefs, and those of water, ( tjozoza ), related to humidity and the color white. It is among the latter that the priests of the rain are chosen, initiates of the cult vadosong . To be used by both Mumuye groups, the different colors of the same cult object, mask or statue, are applied by each member of the corresponding group.
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