Boa (warrior mask)
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- Country of origin: DR of the Congo
- Size: 37 cm H x 32 cm W
- Materials: wood,copper, pigments, natural fibres
- Decorative african art
Of all the northern Congolese tribes, where the use of masks is much less frequent, the BOA developed a design language with the greatest unity in style.
Remarkable is the use of geometric surfaces with which the face is drawn. In most cases, this is done by cutting contoured surfaces, sometimes concave, which are then alternately colored with white and black pigments.
Very often, the ears are attached under the form of openwork cut circles.
About the function of the early BOA masks is little known. They would have been used as a supernatural weapon in a confrontation with enemy groups. They were worn by the bravest warrior and made him invulnerable.
What makes this Boa mask unique, is the attachment of the copper plate onto its face.
This was not only done out of decorative reasons, but also to emphasize the function of power; to impress the enemy.
©2017 Bert's Gallery of Tribal Art