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MADELEINE MASK

Luba, DRC

'La Belle Madeleine' Mask. Luba Culture, DRC

Among the Luba, the type of mask known as 'La Belle Madeleine' represents, in a variety of styles and sizes, the face of a European woman. This mask, with its whitened surface, serene facial expression and darkened ornamental carved coiffure depicts 'Madeleine' - a beautiful Belgian nun who, according to local folklore, was the mistress of the Luba chief Noy during the first half of the twentieth-century. Such masks are also used by a Luba association called Baba na Mama, of which the central figure of devotion is the Virgin Mary. Within this context, the mask performs a danced duet combining the 'beauty and the beast' in conjunction with a series of zoomorphic masks. The human/animal combination of masks can also be found among the Tabwa and other sub-groups.

H (Excl. Stand): 37cm

W: 18cm

Estimated Period: 1960's

Reference

Detlev Edler von Graeve, 'Begegnung mit der ‚schönen Madeleine’, einer ‘Kifwebe’ bei den östlichen Luba'

(Click on images to enlarge)

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£
3200
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SIZE
H (Incl. Stand): 47.5 CM
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