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Kuba Bwoom Royal Helmet Mask Congo African Art

Regular Price: $490.00

Special Price: $299.00

Product #: 110565
US Shipping: $39.98
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Title Kuba Bwoom Royal Helmet Mask Congo African Art
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Kuba
Materials Wood, beads, cowrie shells, copper alloy, raffia fabric, glass beads
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 14 Inches
Width: 9.5 Inches
Depth: 13 Inches
21 inches H w/ beard
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Dirty shells and beads, scraped surfaces and tarnished metal


Additional Information: An example of one of the three accepted Kuba "royal" masks, known as M'boom or Bwoom mask. This mask has a bulbous forehead and an underslung jaw with a decorated beard.  Copper alloy ornaments the forehead, nose, and the mouth. The helmet mask  is nicely embroidered with cowrie shells and beads. This mask is well carved and beautifully decorated. It  has a lot of presence and its overall condition is very good.


In fact, without the bulging forehead which identifies "M'boom" or "Bwoom," the mask would have been difficult to categorize. This is probably due to the diverse stylistic elements found throughout Kuba territory, as the mask has features more commonly found among the Kuba sub-groups. "Bwoom" represents the evil brother in ceremonial reenactments of Kuba mythology, as well as the inevitable struggle for power among individuals. In these dances, Bwoom seeks both the mythical throne of his brother, "Mwaash A Mboy," as well as the king's wife, "Ngaady A Mwaash." Bwoom, a pygmy, symbolically speaks for the common man, with all the temptation and folly that entails. This colorful trio of characters comprises the recognized pantheon of the royal helmet masks, which are eagerly sought-after by collectors and museums.


Recommended reading:


-Meurant, George, 1986, ART KUBA, Credit Communal, Brussels Mack, John, EMILE TORDAY AND ART OF THE CONGO 1900-1909, University of Washington Press, Seattle -Cornet, Joseph, 1982, ART ROYAL KUBA, Edizioni Sipiel, Milano -Cornet, Joseph, 1978, A Survey of Zairian Art-The Bronson Collection, North Carolina Museum of Art.