Wood, raffia, white and coloured pigments, kaolin, oval face carved of classical form, exaggerated features, upturned nose, toothy mouth, most areas covered with white pigment, superstructure with raffia ruff, and surmounted by a figure administering an enema. This type of mask, called Kholuka , is only used for circumcision and initiation rites, the nkanda. Three months before the ceremony, the carver, muumbwa, is formally invited to conceive the mask. He carves the Kholukain a field where offerings are made in honor of the ancestors (yipheesolu). The yipheesolu is strictly off limits for strangers, women, and non initiated males. After the mask is finished, the carver applies a mixture which will confer magic and protective elements to it.
H: 59 cm (23 inch)
Literature: Bourgeois, Arthur e Rodolitz, S. (2003) Remnants of Ritual: Selections from The Gelbard Collection of African Art.
Bacquart, Jean-Baptiste (2010) The Tribal Arts of Africa.
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Regional & Ethnic Antiques