Democratic Republic of Congo, of powerful angular form with cubisticly rendered facial palnes and simply conceived eyes and mouth in the form of square cut-outs. Overall fine surface. height 10 1/2in
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
Published: Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.52, fig.109
This fine old mask, was created by the Kumu people who live to the North and West of the Lega in D.R Congo. By all accounts, such masks are exceedingly rare, and would have been used, in an initiatory context by the divination society, Nsembu. Most often, Kumu masks are far more geometrically conceived than those of their Lega neighbors and have the additional element of polychromed designs, often in opposition on paired masks. The bold planes and square cutouts are rather remarkable in their simplicity and primordial strength.