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c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask
  • c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask
  • c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask
  • c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask
  • c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask
  • c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask
  • c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask
  • c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask

c1950 Africa Belgium Congo Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask

Price:

£1,250.00


Product Description

A nice original c1950 African Belgium Congo (now DRC) Kuba Pwoom Itok Ceremonial Mask.

The mask is made of wood and stained black. It has an interesting abstract look. The chief identifying characteristic is the shape of the eyes, whose centers are cones surrounded by holes through which the wearer sees. Unlike many of the more modern Kuba types of Pwoom Itok masks, which are extensively polychromed, or multicoloured, this example is very sober in appearance. This example has a cane headdress covered with raffia cloth with painted designs and detached wooden ears, which covers the whole of the wearer’s head. The top of the headdress is adorned with feathers, indicating a high-ranking person. The mask is finished with strings of old black and blue tubular glass beads. It is possible that this mask may be much earlier, around 1900. Condition is good. The raffia material has small tears, but is still sturdy. The mask displays the wear and patina of age. Other than a light brush, the mask has not been cleaned or polished.

Headgear—including hats, hairpins, and headdresses—was one of the main insignia awarded to male Kuba titleholders in order to distinguish rank. Artists used hats and hairstyles to express a work’s position within the hierarchy of masks. This mask’s elaborate headdress—formed by a fabric-covered cane in a U-shape—is that of a high-ranking male warrior. The spray of brown and black feathers represents high titleholders. These masks were worn by masqueraders at initiations and burials to signify elders’ knowledge. The Kuba believed in Bumba the Sky Father who spewed out the sun, moon, stars, and planets. The Kuba placed more immediate concern in a supernatural being named Woot, possibly the representation in this mask. Woot was the first human and bringer of civilization.

It is part of a collection collected by a French Diplomat based in Africa and purchased from his retirement home in Brittany, France.

Size: 41 x 29 x 20 cm (16 1/8 x 11 ½ x 8 inches)
Weight: 570 g

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