Pende masks such as this would have been worn by dancers and performed to a community during various festivities, such as the ending of the male initiation ritual mukanda. These village masks (mbuya) highlighted a number of characters and roles in Pende society, which included the ‘Long Bearded Man’ (Giwoyo/Kiwoyo-Muyombo). This mask - crowned with a raffia headdress sculpted into the form of an elaborate coiffure - features a stylised beard in the style of a long wooden extension, which has been embellished with carved geometric patterns. A painted band with an incised zig-zag design separates the extension from the face, and a carved scarification mark features at the centre of the mask's protruding forehead. A pair of prominent, conjoined dark-coloured eyebrows feature above heavy-lidded, downcast eyes. The mask displays a small upturned mouth, and a thick raffia fibre has been attached around the perimeter.
Estimated Period: First Half of 20th Century
Ex Private Collection, The Netherlands
H (Excl. Stand): 33cm
Adenike Cosgrove, 'Mbuya (Village Mask)', ÌMO DÁRA
Adenike Cosgrove, ’100 x Congo: A Century of Congolese Art in Antwerp’, ÌMO DÁRA
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