Tribal art > African mask > Bembe mask
Bembe mask (N° 19660)
Ex. Mercier African art collection.
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A flat volume on which large concave orbits have been carved with incised almond-shaped eyelids, constitutes this African tribal mask of the Bembe. The frightened owl would have inspired these zoomorphic characters. These masks accompanied the rituals of passage during the Bwami's circumcision ceremonies. This very ancient mask is distinguished by its exceptional inlaid patina, formed of locally abraded granular underlayers.
Height on base: 53 cm.
The Bembe ethnic group is a branch of the Luba that left the Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighboring ethnic groups in the region of Lake Tanganyika, the Lega, the Buyu, etc.. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring the society but while the Bwami was exclusive to the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe, such as the Elanda and Alunga societies.
Within the Bwami, art objects such as masks and statues had the role of helping aspirants to Kindi, the highest rank, to remember the moral rules they had to know and apply.
This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity
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|Origin||Ex. collection Mercier|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Estimated dating||2e quart xxe|
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