Tribal art > African mask > Komo Mask
Masque Kumu Nsembu (N° 19415)
Ex-German African tribal art collection.
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Among the primitive art masks, this African mask named Nsembu occurred in male-female pairs, and was used by the Nkunda soothsayer society within the clans living in the north of the Uituri region. Vast eye openings framing a thick nose, housed beneath the volume of a flat skull, and a toothed mouth cut into the lower flat of the face, form the main features of this kaolin-coated mask. Matt patina.
The Kumu, Bakumu, Komo, live mainly in the northeast and center in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their Bantu language is komo or kikomo . Several ethnic groups are closely intertwined with similar associations: the Mbole, Yela, Lengola, and Metoko. Their artistic production has also great similarities with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were displayed during the closing ceremonies of initiation and circumcision of the youth of the nkunda society.
It is indeed in the region of Maniema around the Lualaba River and the Great Lakes that Lega sculpture has largely exerted its influence. A costume made of bark textiles and plant fibers concealed the wearer. Biebuck is said to have noted a great similarity between the rituals accompanying the appearance of Kumu masks and those of the muminia Lega masks.
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|Origin||Ex-collection belge 1998, ex-collection allemande 2004|
|Estimated dating||1ère halfxx°|
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