Tribal art > African mask > Pende mask
Pende Mbuya mask (N° 20874)
This African mask of initiation, Mbuya, emanates from the Pende of the West whose Yaka influence is notable in the slightly upturned nose facture.
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Featuring large slit eyes, it recalls the Pende custom of not staring in public. This African Pende mask sports a headdress made of cloth and raffia fibers extended with a cloth hood, and a chin strap.
Total height on base: 46 cm.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern Pende have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba, and Salampasu have been imprinted on their extensive tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the Mbuya masks, realistic, produced every ten years, have 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, mukanda initiation and circumcision rituals, enthronement of the chief. ( Art and Life in Africa, C.D. Roy )