Tribal art > African mask > Mumuye Mask
Mumuye Sukuru Vertical Mask (N° 19695)
The Mumuye in African art
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Surmounted by two long necks bearing particularly stylized heads, this so-called shoulder mask has a base made up of two side panels bristling with small protrusions. Metal in the form of necklaces and leaves decorate the sculpture. Abraded dark patina, erosions, polychrome highlights.
Occasionally produced in pairs, this mask could be accompanied by a horizontal mask during rituals preceding wars. Its appearance today is linked to apotropaic ceremonies and calls for rain.
South of the Benue River, in an area of difficult access that isolated them until 1950, are established the Mumuye,who are organized in family groups named dola . Their statues iagalagana were stored in a hut, tsafi , reserved for this purpose, while another hut, java , housed an individual with magical powers and surrounding himself with ritual objects related to his function and prestige.
This type of mask is found in the northwestern region of the middle Benue, from the Kona Jukun, to the Mumuye and up to the Wurkun populations. The statuary from this area is characterized by a relative absence of ornamentation and a refined stylization. The 100,000 Adamawa language speakers form a group called Mumuye and are grouped into villages, dola ,divided into two groups: those of fire (tjokwa) relating to blood and the color red, guardians of the vabong cult, from among whom chiefs are elected, and those of water, (tjozoza), related to moisture and the color white. It is among the latter that the priests of rain are chosen, initiates of the vadosong cult.
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|Origin||ex-collection H. Steadworthy - UK|
|Estimated dating||1ère halfxx°|
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