Lot: 479

80th Tribal Art Auction


D. R. Congo, Pende

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Sotheby's, London, 11 December 1978, lot 232 H: 9.6 inch 4000 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, matt greyish brown patina, small remains of blackish brown shiny patina, kaolin, tubular eyes, nose with drilled holes, oval mouth with notches, drilled holes for insertion of feather ornament on the head, dam., missing parts (nose tip, eyes, rim backside), abrasion of paint, base; might be classified as "mbuya" mask type, possibly depicting the "tundu" character. Circumcision and initiation of young men culminate with some maskers representing village character types, in more than fifteen different forms, all of them called "mbuya": including the mad man "tundu", the prostitute "ngobo", the young flirt "gabuku", the diviner "nganga", the long-bearded man "kiwyo-muyombo" and the chief's mask "phumbu".

Schädler, Karl-Ferdinand, Encyclopedia of African Art and Culture, Munich 2009, p. 499