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Kuba Ngaady a Mwaash Mask Cowrie Shells Congo African Art

Regular Price: $195.00

Special Price: $95.00

Product #: 98476
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Title Kuba Ngaady a Mwaash Mask Cowrie Shells Congo Africa
Type of Object Ngaady a Mwaash Mask
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Kuba or Leele, Lele
Materials Wood, raffia grass, fabric, cowrie shells
Approximate Age 20th Century
Dimensions mask: 8 inches H. x 4.5 inches W. 9 inches D. with hood
Overall Condition Good. 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 Some torn stitches, missing beadwork, dirt, and general wear; see pictures for general wear.


Additional information: A decorated face mask with a woven raffia hood decorating the top and sides.  Ornate patterns of shells and glass beads adorn the face and hood.  Adorned with geometric designs typical of Kuba masks.


This face mask represents Nhaady a Mwaash, the wife of the first Kuba king.  SHe is seen as a founding royal female ancestor of the 17th century Bushoong Kuba dynasty. It performs as part of the famed Kuba trio of masks (with Mashamboy and Bwoon) in a ceremony celebrating and reenacting the dynasty.  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.