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Pende Mbuya Mask

  • Pende Mbuya Mask
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  • Pende Mbuya Mask
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  • Fiber hair
  • Backing
  • Raffia
Item 695
0.00 LBS

Product Description

The Pende people can trace their ancestry back to northern Angola in the Kwango region and had close ties with the Lunda. They were forced north to their current position in Zaire by a Lunda expansion of territory. At this time they were divided into two distinct groups: the western Pende and the Pende of the east. Although divided into geographically different locations they still considered themselves one people. In 1885 both Pende groups were invaded by the Chokwe and suffered great loss. Belgium colonialism put an end to the Chokwe invasion and the Pende were able to regain their independence. The Pende have a matrilineal society but the sculptors' profession is passed from father to son. This western Pende mask represents one of the three most important and oldest of over twenty different 'Mbuya' masquerade masks known as the Giwoyo, Muyombo or Ginjinga. The masks can only be identified by the adjoining costume, paraphernalia and dance style. All three masks are characterized by a carved wooden face with an elongation under the chin that represents a beard (mwevu). The mwevu is a symbol of the authority and wisdom of the ancestors. This mask has a continuous "V" shaped eyebrow line, high cheekbones and a slendered sculpted nose. Bluish pigment has been rubbed onto the elaborate pattern of triangles (njege) adorn the lower facial area and neck of the piece. The triangles or njege are believed to be fertility symbols. This wooden mask is used at hunting and harvest ceremonies, during initiation and circumcision rituals and on other festive occasions. The mask helps to ensure the well being of the village. Our selection features a full headress of braided and netted raffia fibers with a strong woven headdress backing and two large unbroken gourd ear pieces.

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Dimensions: The mask is 18 inches tall x 9 inches wide x 10 inches deep.

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