The Shoowa settled within the Kuba kingdom and gradually adopted some of its traditions. Organized in a matrilineal society, the Shoowa are above all skilled weavers, renowned for their raffia textiles which they export to neighboring groups. But they are also potters and engravers.
The Kuba and the tribes between the Sankuru and Kasai rivers, including the Bushoong and Dengese, also from the Mongo group, are known for the refinement of prestige objects created for the higher ranks of their society. The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong, who are still ruled by a king. It is the most prolific group in Western Kasai. Ritual ceremonies were still an opportunity to display decorative arts and masks to honor the spirit of the deceased or to honor the king. Most of these masks embody nature spirits, guarantors of fertility and fecundity, called ngesh .
A flycatcher with a wooden handle engraved with traditional geometric motifs. An animal fur (partially detached) drapes the lower part.
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