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Tribal art > African mask > Masque Zombo

Zombo circumcision mask (N° 17714)

Neighbours of the Yaka, Nkanu and Kongo in western Zaire, on the border with Angola, the Zombo fear, like the Kongo clans, the god named Nzambi. Their soothsayers use fetishes similar to those of the Kongo, but the ceremonies associated with the initiation rites stem from Yaka traditions. Fetish sculptures are used by ngangas to protect against evil, heal or cause luck, wealth and fertility. Men's circumcision ceremonies nzo longo are accompanied by masked dances. These rituals take place around the retreat of young people, during several months, during which the necessities of social, village and religious life will be taught to them. This mask, crowned with a frontal crest with feathers, is reminiscent of yaka productions. Facial features, uniformly coated with red ochre pigments, remain more naturalistic. A basket frame, stretched with textiles, forms a helmet on which feathers have been fanned behind the blue tiara evoking the female royal crowns.
Pièce acquired by Mr. Guy Mercier, consultant for the Solvay group, who at the beginning of the 20th century began to assemble a vast collection of African tribal art. While radiating in West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collecting in-situ works, the majority of his collection is nevertheless derived from Curiosity cabinets which abounded in European capitals during the 1920s. She also comes from prestigious galleries (Paris, Brussels, London, New York)This collection was passed on to her grandson Jean-Charles.  

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OriginCollection Mercier
EthnyZombo
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height cm60
Width35 cm
Weight1.50 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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