This is a fine Pende "mbuya" mask with tribe-typical facial features; orizontal browline, eyes with hanging nearly closed lids and the typical "snub nose", a bulging forehead, bonnet made from raffia bast and plant fibres. Pierced around the rim.

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, red pigment, kaolin, min. dam., traces of abrasion. On MDF base.

Height: 28 cm - 11 inch.