Very Rare 1940s Belgian Congo Death Mask.  Bakongo People.  Kongo Sub-Group: Yombe.   DRC.  Africa.

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The solidarity of the Bakongo people has a long history based on the splendor of the ancient Kongo kingdom and the cultural unity of the Kikongo language. Founded in the fifteenth century AD, the kingdom was discovered by Portuguese explorer Diego Cao when he landed at the mouth of the Congo River in 1484.

 

The Kongo kingdom was one of the most dominate and renowned powers throughout pre-colonial Africa  Today the Kongo are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and are divided into many subgroups:  Woya, Msundi, Yombe, Villi, Lemfu, Mpangu and Bwende.

 

This mask is from the Yombe sub-group.   Masks are either masculine for feminine . . .  symbolizing the spirits of the dead.  Masks with mutilations within the teeth are female.  Males have more perfect  - pointed - teeth.

 

I acquired this Yombe male mask in 1996 and am still fascinated by its face. I look at it every day.

 

For the Serious Collector of Congo masks.   Stand is not included.

 

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