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Tabwa Buffalo Mask Kiyunde Congo African Art

Product #: 113433
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Title Tabwa Buffalo Mask Kiyunde Congo African Art
Type of Object Bush Cow Mask
Country of Origin Democractic Republic of Congo
People Tabwa
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 5 Inches
Width: 12.5 Inches
Depth: 6 Inches
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 Chips, cracks and wear

Additional Information: Numbering more than 200, 000 the Tabwa were noted as early as the 19th century and today live along Lake Tanganyika. This mask portrays a male wild buffalo called ‘kiyunde’ and appears wearing a costume composed of animal skins and grasses. It dances with a companion mask depicting a female. The Tabwa identify wild buffalo with their strength and behavior with chiefs and their culture heroes. The name buffalo is also given to the circumcised boys. Tacks worked onto the face of the mask in elaborate and attractive scarification patterns and designs represent the Tabwa concept of ‘kulemba’ that reflect aesthetic, social membership and the abstract idea of order upon the chaos of nature.


For similar example and further Information see Constantjin Petridis & Franck Herreman (eds.) FACE OF THE SPIRITS. MASKS FROM THE ZAIRE BASIN, fig. 81, p.168.

See also Maurer E.M. , A.F. Roberts, TABWA THE RISING OF NEW MOON, 1985