Global Art & Artifacts

congo

Chieftain Face Mask. Bena Lulua People. Lulua River. DRC / Zaire

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    The Lulua people – who migrated from western Africa – are made up of small regional chiefdoms. They in turn often elect a common leader . . . a village chief.   Masks – like this one – are used in rituals and ceremonies related to agriculture,… Continue reading

Mid-1900 Suku Horned Helmet Mask. Yaka Influence. DRC. Congo. Africa

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  One of the most complex and intriguing Suku mask that I have every seen!   The Suku (aka Basuku) are people from SW Congo and Northwest Angola. They speak a derivation of the Bantu language of the Niger-Congo group of languages. Suku women cultivate a root vegetable… Continue reading

Rare Salampasu / Basalampasu Warrior Mask. Mukinka. Kasai River. Congo DNC / Angola

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    There are about 60,000 Salampasu people who live east of the Kasai River (bordering the DRC and Angola). History reveals that they are viewed with terror by adjacent tribes (e.g. Chokwe and Lunda). The Salampasu are governed by territorial leaders who, in turn, supervise village chiefs.… Continue reading

Deeply Carved Luba Kuba Helmet Mask. Tribal. Ceremonial. DRC. Congo.

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    Look at the dynamic carvings of this helmet mask. The high and bulging forehead is quite normal for this ethnic group. But the depth and symbolism of the carvings is quite extraordinary. I have spent some time in trying to determine the significance of this… Continue reading

Horned Kuba Helmet Mask. Wood & Paint. Bwoom. DRC. Congo. Africa

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  This was quite a find.   One of the three known royal masks, the helmet Bwoom is one of the oldest mask types used by the Kuba. These were introduced in the 17th Century by King Miko mi-Mbul.   Most often used in funerals, they are also used… Continue reading

Unique and Rare Nkondi Nkisi Nail Fetish Statue. Shaman. Nganga. Sculpture. Kongo. DRC. Congo.

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    Created by a shaman or Nganga who gathers spiritual items (organic materials, medicines, etc) which is placed in hollow cavities in the abdomen (and sometime the forehead). In this case, such spiritual items are behind a glass shield. Nails are driven into the statue as a… Continue reading

Old Tribal Bakongo Double-Faced Mask with Fetish / Nkisi Nails and Head Cap. Manyanga Tribe. Kongo Kingdom. DRC. Africa

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    The Manyanga tribe live on the right bank of the Zaire (aka Congo) River. The location is near the tributary of the Lefini River.   This is a relatively unknown tribe whose artists are known for their elongated faces, rounded cheeks, carefully rendered faces and nails.  … Continue reading

Old Tribal Bakongo Mask with Fetish / Nkisi Nails and Head Cap. Manyanga Tribe. Kongo Kingdom. DRC. Africa

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    The Manyanga tribe live on the right bank of the Zaire (aka Congo) River. The location is near the tributary of the Lefini River.   This is a relatively unknown tribe whose artists are known for their elongated faces, rounded cheeks, carefully rendered faces and nails.  … Continue reading

Very Old Bakongo Death Mask. DRC. Congo. Africa.

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    The solidarity of the Bakongo people has a long history based on the dynamics of the Kongo Kingdom, first discovered in the fifteenth century by a Portuguese explorer.   There are numerous subgroups / tribes that make up the cultural and spiritual complex. Examples: the Vili,… Continue reading

Suku Helmet Mask. Basuku People. Rite of Passage. Kholuka. DNC / Zaire. Africa

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  Suku people have lived in the southwestern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formally Zaire) since the 16th Century. Their economic source is farming but occasionally join in communal hunts.   Suku’s are known for their large carved figures (e.g. fertility figures, crouching fetish figures, ancestral statues… Continue reading
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