|Title||Suku Mask with Lizard Motif Congo African Art 24 Inch|
|Type of Object||Shield-shape mask|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Materials||Wood. pigment, paint|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 24 Inches
Width: 13 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.|
Additional Information: A creative and unique offering from the Suku of the Congo region. The design of the mask reminds of the tall Kuba mask convention. This particular example uses a slender lizard in the place of a nose and flat, slit shapes for eyes. The front is painted in several layers of colored pigments. In many cases, Suku masks incorporate animal figures. Usually the Suku mask may be differentiated from other masks by the use of white paint for the face, as well as by the presence of pigments for the eyelids.
The Suku, whose art closely parallels that of their more populous neighbors, the Yaka, number around 80,000. They extensively use masks to promote success in hunting and to venerate ancestors. The mask presented here, with its white face and blue vertical "scarification" marks, probably originates from the northern part of Suku territory, as the southern artists use quite different color schemes.
For more information and fine examples, see Kerchache, et al, "Art of Africa".