Mask, Pende, D.R. Congo.

This is a fine Pende "mbuya" mask with tribe-typical facial features; eyes with hanging lids and the typical "snub nose", visible rows of teeth, raised scarification marks in the area of forehead and cheeks, accentuated by paint, a bulging forehead, bonnet and chin beard made from raffia bast and plant fibres.

Masks of the Pende were used to worship the chief and for initiation rites or for sacred purposes of the priests. In particular, this artist has captured the "bedroom eyes" ("zanze"), believed essential to women's power over men.

Light wood, matt patina, polychrome paint, min. dam., paint rubbed off in parts, minor missing parts, traces of insect caused damage, traces of abrasion. On MDF base.

H: 28 cm - 11 inch. W: 20 cm - 7.9 inch.