Lot: 88

98th Auction

Anthropomorphic mask "mbuya"

D. R. Congo, Pende

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Werner Zintl, Worms, Germany (2003) H: 11.4 inch This object is not available anymore.

wood, pigments, rest. (pieces reinserted), base

The Pende use dance masks "mbuya", which appear during non-ritual festivities to entertain the village community.

The mask figures represent different characters and role models of Pende society. There are embodiments of chiefs ("fumu"), wise old men with long beards ("giwoyo" or "muyombo"), executioners ("pumbu"), fortune tellers ("nganga ngombo") and bewitched persons "mbangu", up to representations of clowns "tundu" and prostitutes "ngobo".

The identification of a specific mask character depends largeley on aspects of the costume, including the headdress and accessories, and the choreography of the dance. Taken out of the ritual context, the exact type of a mask can therefore no longer be clearly determined.