Ngeende Isheen Imalu Kuba mask, DRC ex Zaire This... - Lot 164 - Arthema Auction

Lot 164
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Estimation :
250 - 350 EUR
Ngeende Isheen Imalu Kuba mask, DRC ex Zaire This... - Lot 164 - Arthema Auction
Ngeende Isheen Imalu Kuba mask, DRC ex Zaire This African Kuba warrior mask, not belonging to the royal masks, named Ishyeen imaalu and also Pwoom itok , belonged to the Babende society. It features exorbitant conical pupils set off by horns that are reminiscent of warrior headdresses. Polychrome motifs alternate on the satin-finish surface. Slight patina chips. The spirits of nature, the ngesh , were supposed to be embodied in Kuba masks during dances. The dancers' footprints were then erased so as not to "hurt" women venturing into the dance area. The mask shown here appeared during initiation ceremonies, and sometimes at the funerals of notables. 45 x 25 cm Sold without base The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the main Bushoong tribe, which is still ruled by a king today, and whose capital was Nshyeeng or Mushenge. More than twenty types of tribal mask are used by the Kuba, or "people of lightning", with meanings and functions that vary from group to group. Ritual ceremonies were occasions for displaying decorative arts and masks, to honor the spirit of the deceased or to honor the king. Three types of Kuba masks were associated with dances held within the royal precincts: the first, called Moshambwooy , represents Woot , the founder of the Bushoong sub-tribe and the hero of the culture. The second, known as Nady Amwaash (Ngaady Un Mwash), embodies Woot's wife/sister, a character said to have been introduced to give greater prominence to the role of women. The third mask is called Bwoom . Source: "Kuba" 5Continents.
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