This mask from the Nbaka culture in the north eastern region of DRC displays a great expression, with circular-shaped eyes, broad nose and a wide, gaping mouth. Rather unusually, one eye is larger in size than the other, probably as a result of wear and handling. There has been a traditional restoration, using traces of dried wax, to the lower section of the jaw.
Both eyes of the mask are surrounded by traces of caline, which is now dried and flaking, and a slightly pronounced ridge. It is possible that teeth of some description, made out of bone or wood, were inserted into the punctuations present in the upper and lower lips of the mask. Inserted teeth is a common feature of masks from north eastern DRC. The mask exhibits a dry, slightly freckled surface.
Field collected in the early 1990s
Estimated Period: First Half of 20th Century (1940’s – 1950’s)