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Ngongo munune Ding, Dinga mask (N° 20679)

The African copper mask ngongo munene is more common than its carved wooden counterpart here. It could not be seen by women and children, and participates in ancestor cults, rites of passage, and major funeral ceremonies. This rare example, embodying the chief, lacks the original Tukongo rosette motifs. After the rituals, the mask is protected in a mat and kept by dignitaries in a particular hut. The hole at the top was probably used to hold feathers. Satin patina with orange-brown flecks. Erosions. Originally established on the eastern bank of the Lulua River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ding, Dinga, Badinga, were driven out by the Lulua expansion to the Kasai, around Tsishenge, among the Tschokwe. These descendants of the Tukongo are also very close to the Lwalwa, with whom they have common ancestors. Essentially farmers, they cultivate cassava, peas, corn and yams. They also live from hunting and fishing, but their particularity lies in the commercial production of tukula. In addition to the worship of ancestor spirits, they believe in a god named Mvidie Mukulu and an omniscient creator Nzambi. Male initiation ceremonies, mukanda, come to them from the Tschokwe. Their sculptural production is very limited.
Ref: "100 people of Zaire and their sculpture" M.L. Félix.  

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OriginCollection belge V.
EthnyDing, Dinga
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height35
Width20
Weight0.70 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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