Carved from seed pods, this series of miniature ikhokho masks, with heavy-lidded eyes and arched brows, would have been worn as decorative pendants around the neck of a Pende elder or chief. The necklace, interspersed with smaller seeds, originally incorporated three ivory ikhokho pendants which have since been removed.
Dating back to circa 1944, this chieftain's necklace was collected that year alongside two masks in the Kikongo region of the DRC by an English expat who worked as an employee of Unilever Co. A field photograph, taken in 1944 by the fore-mentioned expat, shows one of the Pende masks worn by a masked dancer.
Estimated Period: First Half of 20th Century
Ex Private Collection, UK
Diameter (Excl. Mount): 17cm
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