African art > African Shield > Boa Shield
Ex-collection of African American tribal art.
This shield is adorned with a mask pattern with oversized ears, perforated like the ear pavilions of the Eastern Boa, an operation called " bavobongo ". Supposed to make invulnerable and in order to terrify the enemy, the mask of African art kpongadomba of the Boa, or Pongdudu, was ordered by the chief kumu who offered it to the most valiant warrior. It was then kept in his wife's hut. It conferred an impressive aspect to its wearer, accentuated by the contrast of colors.
Farmers close to the Mangbetu and Zande, the Boa live in the savannah in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some Boa are said to have used these masks for educational purposes with children, since the pacification of the Uele region.