Tribal art > African mask > Pende Mask
Pende Mask (N° 17374)
The spendents live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the have settled on the banks of the Kasai river downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of the neighbouring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu, were imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the masks Mbuya, realistic, produced every ten years, have a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chef, the soothsayer and his wife, the prostitute, the possessed, etc. The masks of initiation and those of power, the minganji, represent the ancestors and occur successively during the same ceremonies, agricultural festivals, initiation rituals and circumcision mukanda, induction of the chief. Wearing a loose hat consisting of a taut wicker frame of raffia canvas, and embellished with two moving horns, this face has an embossed eyebrow edge surmounting large lowered eyelids associated with the rules of conduct prohibiting hanging men from staring at their eyes in public. Women, on the other hand, are also represented with a half-closed-eyed look, considered particularly attractive zanze. The Pumbu masks embodying the executioner are distinguished by a particularly prominent forehead, eyelids and nose and by their grimacing upturned lips. Mask coated with matte red ochre pigments, abrasions.
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(Sources: Pende Strother and African art Kerchache)