Additional Information: This mask with long carved beard surrounded by raffia ruff is identified to the Western Pende of the Kwango River region. This mask is a classic example of the Katundu Style characterized by its triangular and heavy-lidded half closed eyes under a bulging forehead, its slightly turned-up nose, and the marks on the cheeks. This well carved mask is distinctive due to the complete ruff of grasses still attached to the mask and for the condition of it’s painted surface.
Shipping and handling is: $27.90 with stand;
$21.90 without stand
Masks of this type belong to the general category of Dancing masks for young initiates known as Mbuya.This particular mask with long beard is called Kiwoyo, a sub-category of Mbuya. Kiwoyo represents the ancestors or the elders because of its beard. It is associated to the ancestor authority. When performing, Muya-Kiwoyo spreads positive forces in the community. Such masks were performing during the initiation of young boys, Mukanda, and also during healing rituals where they were invited to bring their curative powers and their spiritual assistance to the priest and the sick person.Miniatures of this mask made of wood, ivory, or bone were also carved and worn for curative purposes and also for individual protection.
I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.