|Title||Bembe Mask Alunga Congo Africa|
|Type of Object||Carving, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Approximate Age||Second half 20th century|
|Overall Condition||Poor. 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||Large cracks repaired with glue|
Additional Information: The Bembe are an ancient, though poorly documented culture, who originally emerged from the northwestern portions of the Congo. They are a proud and somewhat aggressive people, spreading slowly eastward to avoid colonialism. As they migrated, they conquered other groups and seized their lands, absorbing many artistic traditions along the way. Even today they still have skirmishes over land and hunting areas. Though they have some very distinctive forms, like the abstract, minimalist designs of this stunning old mask, they have also incorporated many stylistic elements from the Lega, Tabwa, and other peoples found near Lake Tanganyika. Like the Lega, they embrace Bwami Society rituals and laws for advancement within society. Similar masks exist also among their neighbors, the Goma.
See "A Survey of Zairean Art," by Cornet for a similar example