|Type of Object||
|Country of Origin||
DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo – formerly Zaire)
Possible minor imperfections and wear & tear, including but not limited to scuffing, cracking and minimal chipping. Possible previous repairs. See photos or inquire for more details.
About the Pende People
Ancestor worship is significantly importance to the Pende people. Appeasing the ancestors (mvumbi), is accomplished through rituals and offerings, usually provided by the head of the family. If neglected, it is believed that the ancestors will cause sickness and hardship to the household. When asked for help, a diviner will regularly demand offerings be made to a wooden sculpture to placate the provoked ancestors.
Read more about the Pende here.
About the Mbangu Mask
The mbangu mask is often referred to as the “sickness mask”. It falls under the category of Mbuya masks, this character being mbangu, or bewitched. The mask depicts a person who is diseased or handicapped, often believed to have been “bewitched” by a sorcerer for their moral corruption and unruly behavior. The intent of this mask is to remind people to be good or else face the consequences.
Mbuya masks, created by the western Pende, come in many anthropomorphic and zoomorphic character forms. They are meant to personify a wide range of community members, such as the village chief or a diviner. Each mask is given a name and is danced in theatrical performances to chronicle the principles and morals of Pende society. Mbuya masks are also used during circumcision ceremonies or in hunting and planting rites.
Some examples of Mbuya masks are:
• Tundu – Clown
• Gandumbu – Old female Widow
• Tata Gambinga – Diviner
• Matala – Young man
• Pumbu – Executioner
• Mbangu – Bewitched
• Giwoyo/Kiwoyo-Muyombo – Long bearded man
• Fumu – Chief
• Gabuku – Village Flirt
• Ngobo – Prostitute
• Nganga - Witchdoctor