Global Art & Artifacts

drc

Songye Warrior Shield.  Wood.  Woven edge. Congolacerta Lizard. Congo. DRC

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    Songye and Luba origins are shared and can be traced through lineages from the 16th Century.  It is believed that the founders of the Songye emerged from the lake region in the Shaba / Katanga province in the southeast part of the Congo with the Lomami River… Continue reading

Bena Lulua Helmet Mask.  Luba Empire.  Kalamba.  Congo / Zaire

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    The Lulua tribes – aka as Bena Lulua – migrated from western Africa in the 17th Century and found their home in the southern part of Zaire (aka Democratic Republic of Congo).  They formed small chiefdoms and their social structure was based on a caste system. … Continue reading

Yaka Ndeemba Mask.  n-khanda / Mukanda Ceremonial.  Northern Yaka.  Northern DRC Congo

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  After a long history of forced migration and union with other groups, the Yaka have been an independent society since the 19th century.  Living in the northern Congo, the Yaka are primarily hunters, although they also practice small scale farming.  The Yaka has a tight-knit control… Continue reading

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

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 

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures

    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
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