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Yombe Mask White Glass Eyes Nganga Congo African Art

Regular Price: $190.00

Special Price: $99.00

Product #: 112106
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Title Yombe Mask White Glass Eyes Nganga Congo African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin DR Congo 
People Yombe
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 9.5 Inches
Width: 7 Inches
Overall Condition poor
Damage/Repair cracks, holes, large chips. some repairs, arrested bug damage


Additional Information: A Yombe mask with white face and eyes covered with mirrors.   The  face is carved with great concern for detail and naturalistic expressions commonly found on Yombe masks. The head has a pointed hairstyle in front. 


The Yombe people share masking traditions with other members of the greater Kongo Kingdom such as the Vili and the Woyo. Masks of this type were used by the diviner, Nganga Diphomba, who danced with during the Khimba initiation, at funerals, and for social control. Their function was to fight against sorcerers, criminals, and all kind of misfortune.  The white pigment play an important role in reinforcing the fine drama of the mask . This use of colors reflects the complex symbolism of color used by the various neighboring Kongo peoples such as red for bravery, male potency or black for darkness and white to illustrate illumination and knowledge or femininity, fertility and social harmony.  White also makes reference to female ancestral spirits known as simbi. The white pigment on the offered mask provides  a great visual appeal and a powerful presence to the mask.


For similar piece see Frank Herreman and Constantijn Petridis, FACE OF THE SPIRITS. MASKS FROM THE ZAIRE BASIN. See also  J. Cornet;  Art of Africa, Treasures from the Congo.  1971; E. M. Maurer and Niangi, B.:  Spirits Embodied: Art of the Congo. 1999.


 Additional 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