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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Kuba Masks : Kuba Painted Wooden Pwoom Itok Mask
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Kuba Painted Wooden Pwoom Itok Mask - PF.4405
Origin: Southeastern Congo
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 14" (35.6cm) high x 11.25" (28.6cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood, Paint

Location: United States
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Kuba means, "people of lightning". Within their society certain functions were strictly defined. It may be a surprise to discover that diviners, sorcerers, blacksmiths and maskmakers worked in the fields part time. When not involved in agriculture the Kuba artists were employed to make objects of prestige for visiting dignitaries and functionaries of the court. This startling mask was worn as a helmet, fitting snugly on the head.

The hair is beautifully geometric in style and quite elegant, befitting an important ceremony. Every inch of the face is covered with lines, circles and triangles in an intricate pattern. However, it is the expression which is so mesmerizing. The conical eyes literally shoot out like rockets. The mouth too seems caught in surprise or wonder. Holes around the eye sockets allowed the dancer to see clearly. What amazing sights he must have seen!
- (PF.4405)


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