Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
Materials Wood, pigment, raffia
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 19
Width (in) 11
Depth (in) 6
Other Dimensions Raffia extends outward 12 inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two
continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes
and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and
extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report
any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures
which may also reveal condition and damage.
Additional Information: The Bembe are an ancient, though poorly documented
culture, who originally emerged from the northwestern portions of the Congo.
They are a proud and somewhat aggressive people, spreading slowly eastward to
avoid colonialism. As they migrated, they conquered other groups and seized
their lands, absorbing many artistic traditions along the way. Even today they
still have skirmishes over land and hunting areas. Though they have some very
distinctive forms, like the abstract, minimalist designs of this stunning old
mask, they have also incorporated many stylistic elements from the Lega, Tabwa,
and other peoples found near Lake Tanganyika. Like the Lega, they embrace Bwami
Society rituals and laws for advancement within society. Similar masks exist
also among their neighbors, the Goma.
All content, including pictures, Copyright Africa Direct Inc., 2021
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