Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
Click on image above to zoom.

Vili Yombe Mask Headdress with Nails Congo African

Product #: 114306
US Shipping: $44.98
Add Items to Cart

Title Vili Yombe Mask Headdress with Nails Congo African
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Vili or Yombe, Bakongo
Materials wood, pigment, glass, vegetal material, cowrie shells, iron nails
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 15 Inches
Width: 11 Inches
Depth: 11 Inches
Overall Condition fair to good
Damage/Repair scraped, chipped surfaces. some cracking in encrusted rim. rusted nails.

Additional Information: An interesting mask with an expression enhanced by the use of magical elements attached to the raffia costume and the use of pigment and mirrored eyes. The features of the face are carved with great concern for details and naturalistic expression that are often found in the masks of the Woyo and Vili and also the Yombe.  All share in many of the uses of masks and figures with other members of the greater Kongo Kingdom.  Such masks are used during initiations, funerals of important individuals or may have social control functions or are used by diviners and healers.  When used by diviners the mask exercised power in the same fashion as the well-known nkissi figures (also known as nail fetishes) that is also seen in this mask with the nails forming the coiffure.  


This mask shows a great visual appeal and a powerful presence and will hold a prominent place in a collection. 

Recommended  Reading:  

J. Cornet;  Art of Africa, Treasures from the Congo.  1971

E. M. Maurer and Niangi, B.:  Spirits Embodied: Art of the Congo. 1999.

Art of the Congo, Walker Art Center