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Tribal art > African mask > Masque Kumu

Masque Kumu (N° 12467) Deposit sale

This mask of African art, carved from heavy wood, was acquired by Mr. J. Henry, an expatriate hydrologist, on a mission for the Belgian state in Zaire and Burundi, now deceased, a savvy collector, a cultured personality, and whose patient selection of works testifies to its aesthetic requirement. A large nasal appendage develops in a face with full volumes. Under the rounding of the forehead the circular eyes conferring a hypnotic look are surrounded by different colors, evoking the supernatural mink. The gaping of the mouth reveals holes in which teeth, bone or wood, had once been implanted. Ancient divination mask, from Ituria, which would be named nsembu (De Mahieu, quoted in Biebuyck 1986; 2:234)Red and white pigments appear to have been applied manually to the surface of the object. Remnants of dotted lines still appear on the chin. The wood of the ears is eroded. The Kumu live mainly in the Northeast and central Democratic Republic of Congo. Their Bantu language is komo or kikomo. Several ethnic groups are closely intertwined, with similar associations: the Mbole, the Yela, the Lengola, and the Metoko. Their artistic production also has great similarities with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were displayed during the closing ceremonies of initiation and circumcision of the young people of society nkunda, accompanied by consumption of hallucinogenic plants causing trance.  

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This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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OriginCollection Jacques Henry
Height cm34
Width17 cm
Weight1.42 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1950
Socle includedYes

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