This mask, carved from a semi dense wood and coloured with natural pigments, exhibits an exaggerated nose, pair of eyes and ears to convey the ideal 'sensory hyperactivity' of the chief (Kipoko), so that he may know everything that happens in his community. The comparatively diminutive mouth delivers a lesson on how a chief (kipkoko) should behave - being slow to speak, lest hasty words render a bad situation worse.
There is an early traditional restoration of woven wicker strands present around the collar of the mask, as seen in the photographs.
Ex Private Collection, UK
(Click on images to enlarge)
Marc Leo Felix (Ed.) Congo Masks: Masterpieces from Central Africa, p. 130