Wood, fine patina, white kaolin, remains of pigments, cowrieshells, hammered coper, beads, fur, large bell-shaped mask, hallowed eyes with one small see slit, geometric patterns.
Kuba peoples call themselves “children of Woot” in honor of their founder.
Kuba art is characterized by its use of geometric patterns and cowrie shells. Three types of mask have been associated with dances that take place within the royal compound. The first, called Mwaashamboy represents Woot, founder of the Bushoong tribe. The second, known as Ngaady Amwaash, personifies Woot‘s incestuous sister-wife. The third mask, the Bwoom, represents a pygmy and is associated with Woot‘s evil brother.
“This mask, Ngaady Amwaash portrays Mweel, Woot's beautiful sister and wife (alternatively, mother), and who represents women in general. The mask is striking with its strong pattern of white and black triangles painted on the face, which are said to represent hearthstones and domesticity. Lines painted down the cheeks represent tears and recall the pain of death, for royal masks often appear in funerary contexts. The tears also denote the hardship of a woman's life as a "pawn" of male authority befitting the mask's name (Ngaady aMwaash), which means "pawn woman of Mwaash," her husband/brother king. The Ngaady Amwaash and Moshambwooy masks dance together on ceremonial occasions with great dignity and pride“.University of Virginia, African Masks
Signs of use.
H: 48 cm (19 inch).
Literature: Bacquart, Jean-Baptiste (2010) The Tribal Arts of Africa.
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Regional & Ethnic Antiques