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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Kuba Masks : Kuba Wooden Pwoom Itok Mask
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Kuba Wooden Pwoom Itok Mask - PF.4796
Origin: Southeastern Congo
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 9.75" (24.8cm) high x 7.25" (18.4cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood

Additional Information: AF10
Location: United States
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Kingship, mythical ancestry, wealth and hierarchy are all interconnected in Kuba society and in its art. Sculptures and masks are also a fundamental part of daily life in the numerous ritual ceremonies. Of the many varieties of masks, the Pwoom Itok is the most important; characterized by conical shaped eyes surrounded by small holes. This particular mask has other features in common with the type; a squared forehead with a headdress having two horizontal extensions on both sides, which nearly join a sort of chin strap reaching to the level of the eyes. Used as a dance mask at funerals, initiations and entertainment festivals the Pwoom Itok is intended to be very dramatic and eye-catching. Its eyes shoot out like rockets, watching us with great curiosity; while the lips seem to express gentleness and even a sense of humor. An attribute of any work of art is its ability to communicate a range of emotions no matter in what context it is placed. This handsome mask does exactly that, and makes the viewer feel a part of ancient Kuba rituals. - (PF.4796)


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