Lot: 258

98th Auction

Anthropomorphic face mask

D. R. Congo, Ubangi, Bwaka (Ngbaka) / Mbanja

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Belgian Private Collection H: 10.6 inch 2500 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, pigments,

An almost identical mask published in the article H. Burssens "Mask styles and mask use in the north of Zaire", in: Herreman & Petridis,1993, p. 227 (AHDRC 0036161). See also AHDRC 0036160 and 0144726.

According to Burssens, it can be considered certain, that the Ngbaka have used masks within the scope of initiation and circumcision rituals, called "gaza", but no uniform style can be discerned.

According to Ngbaka tradition, the practice of circumcision, together with masks and paraphernalia were acquired from the Mbanja, which according to Burssens may indicate, that many Ngbaka masks were created by Mbanja sculptors.

Herreman, Frank & Constantijn Petridis (ed.), Face of the Spirits, Tervuren 1993, p. 227