Kuyu Headdress, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Brazzavile)
Wood, metal, pigments
height 20 3/4in (52.3cm)
Galerie Duperrier, Paris
Madeleine Kraeler Corbin, acquired from the above ca. 1960-68
Thence by descent
Under the protection of Ebongo, the great serpent, the eastern Kuyu honor him with a ceremony during which headdresses such as the present example are danced by costumed men. First to appear are the Euya, "snakemen," then come Ebotita, "the mother", and Djoku, "the father" whose carved head is surmounted by a lizard. The last to appear is Ebongo whose head is projected upward fifteen feet or higher by a conical structure of woven fiber.