Tribal art > African mask > Lwalwa Mask
Mask Lwalwa, Lwalu, Nkaaki (N° 19396)
Ex-Monegasque African tribal art collection.
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The angular forehead gives rhythm to the triangular hairstyle of this African Lwalwa mask. The eyes are pierced with rectangles in the flat of the face and a tubular mouth protrudes under a majestic straight nose. The masks Mfondo and Nkaki , with a barely dissimilar nasal profile, are difficult to differentiate, but the Mfondo has a nose reminiscent of a hornbill. The reddish-brown patina often comes from berries (Bixa orellana).
It is near the Kasai River that the Lwalwa live, between Angola and Zaire. Having historically had a matrilineal society, the Lwalwa, after undergoing the Luba and Songye influence, adopted a patrilineal system within their rudimentary political and social organization.
The male mask nkaki, carved in wood mulela of red or brown color according to M.L. Félix ("100 People of Zaire and their sculpture") is one of the four types of masks produced by the privileged caste formed by their sculptors: These craftsmen, according to their merits, can become chiefs and organize dances, including the balango,(also bangongo) during which acrobatics are performed by young dancers.
These masks, appearing at night in order to preserve the women, are displayed or worn during initiation ceremonies, or to appease the spirits after an unsuccessful hunt.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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