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Lwalwa Mvondo Mask (N° 19869)

The African masks Mfondo and Nkaki , with a barely dissimilar nasal profile, are difficult to differentiate. The Nkaki is said to possess a nose that is lost in the hairstyle, sometimes extending into a crest. The Mvondo indeed has a shorter nose, here topped by a triangular hairstyle reproducing the angular forehead. Red ochre patina, misses and abrasions.
The Lwalwa live near the Kasai River, between Angola and Zaire. Historically having a matrilineal society, the Lwalwa after undergoing Luba and Songye influence, adopted a patrilineal system within their rudimentary political and social organization. The male mask nkaki, carved from mulela wood, is one of four types of masks produced by the privileged caste formed by their carvers: These artisans, according to their merits, may become chiefs and organize dances, including the balango,(also bangongo) during which acrobatics are performed by young dancers. These masks, appearing at night to preserve women, are displayed or worn during initiation ceremonies, or to appease the spirits after an unsuccessful hunt.  

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This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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OriginEx-collection Mercier
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight0.90 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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