The African mask panya ngombe would be associated, for the Pende, with the wild buffalo.
The largest copies were intended to be hung in the chief's hut,
this is probably the case here.
On a triangular face extended by high zoomorphic ears curved backwards, this mask has half-closed horizontal eyelids. The nose forms a realistic detail dominating the protruding rectangle indicating the mouth.
Matt polychrome patina, small erosions and native restoration on one ear.
Height on base: 38 m.
The western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the eastern people have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity, the Mbuya masks produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chief fumu or ufumu, the diviner and his wife, the prostitute, the jester, tundu, the possessed, etc... The Mbuya initiation masks linked to the mukanda initiation and those of power, the minganji, represent the ancestors and occur successively during the same ceremonies, agricultural festivals, rituals of initiation and mukanda circumcision, enthronement of the chief.
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