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Tribal art > African mask > Masque Kumu

Masque Nsembu Kumu, Komo (N° 18166)

Among the first art masks, this mask named Nsembu occurred in male-female pairs, and was used by the society of soothsayers Nkunda at the clans living in the north of the Uituri region. The surface is coated with a polychrome dotillage, an allusion to the animal world, and the color pigments that adorn the bodies during the initiation rites. Patine mate. Height on suitable base: 44 cm.

The Kumu , Bakumu, Komo, live mainly in the North-East and central Democratic Republic of Congo. Their Bantu language is komo or kikomo. Several ethnic groups are closely intertwined, with similar associations: the Mbole, the Yela, the Lengola, and the Metoko. Their artistic production also has great similarities with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were displayed during the closing ceremonies of the initiation and circumcision of the young people of the society nkunda . It was in the Maniema region around the Lualaba River and the Great Lakes that Lega sculpture exerted its influence extensively. A costume made up of bark textiles and plant fibres concealed the wearer. Biebuck would have noticed a great similarity between the rituals accompanying the appearance of Kumu masks and those of muminia masks of the Lega.  

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Originex-collection E. Caldwell - USA
EthnyKumu
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height32
Width23
Weight1.08 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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