A Pende Gitenga facemask
Lot 2581
A Pende Gitenga facemask
US$ 1,800 - 2,200
£1,100 - 1,300
Auction Details
Lot Details
A Pende Gitenga facemask
Democratic Republic of Congo, of simple abstract form, the tubular eyes composed of basketry, rising from the diskoid mask. Remains of original red pigment, large feather headdress to reverse.
height 15 1/4in (excluding fathers)


  • Exhibited:
    Governors State University, IL, 2003
    Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003
    Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004
    Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005

    Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.37, fig.83

    Ascribed to have more supernatural power than the Pende mbuya-type mask, Minganji masks also feature a variety of characters and take on various forms although all have the protruding cylindrical eyes and wear a netted fiber costume with raffia ruffs worn around the neck, waist, wrists and ankles. Minganji with a large circular facial area, such as this example, are of the Gitenga sub-variety, the grandfather or chief of all other Minganji masks and refers to the setting solar disk, a symbol of life and regeneration, while others of the Minganji series of masks embody death, uncertainty and darkness.