Yombe Ceremonial mask
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- Country of origin: DR of the Congo
- Size: 25 cm H x 19 cm W
- Materials: wood, pigments, kaolin
- Decorative african art
Masks of this type were used by the diviner, 'Nganga Diphomba', who danced with it during the Khimba initiation, at funerals, and for social control.
Their function was to fight against sorcerers, criminals, and all kind of misfortune. These masks inspired confidence in the divination specialist’s (Diphomba) ability to dispense justice and install fear in the minds of people with guilty consciences.
The white pigment plays an important role in reinforcing the fine drama of the african mask .
The use of colors reflects the complex symbolism of color, also used by various neighboring Kongo peoples such as: red for bravery, male potency , black for darkness and white to illustrate illumination and knowledge or femininity, fertility and social harmony.
This mask has typical Yombe facial characteristics - prominent cheeks and wide open eyes as well as filed teeth and head ornaments.
3rd Quarter 20th century
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