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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Masks : Lulua Wooden Ceremonial Mask
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Lulua Wooden Ceremonial Mask - PF.3926
Origin: Southeastern Congo
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 16" (40.6cm) high x 9.5" (24.1cm) wide
Catalogue: V19
Collection: African
Medium: Wood


Location: Great Britain
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Description
This beautifully elongated mask reveals the discipline and the power of ritualistic activity. Its intended use was for a part in the tradition of ritual ceremonies and the holes at the side of the mask, demonstrate how it would have been secured onto the head of the participant. For the most part, a mask is usually a representation of a deity or other important role model in the tribe. The forehead and cheeks are pointed and the nose is aquiline complete with bronze ring pierced through the septum. The protruding lips reveal the idea of speech and possible wishes of the character. Yet it is the area of the eyes that commands the most attention. Each eye is in itself a series of large holes punctured into the wood, yet it is surrounded by many smaller holes, creating an owl-like effect. This sort of decoration around the eyes might be a tribal form of beautification or perhaps a sign of rank.

Nevertheless, this beautifully polished mask reveals a deep connection between the tribe and tradition, evoking, not fear, but respect and pride for the past, a lesson that has been brought down through generations and continues on.
- (PF.3926)

 

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