Interesting mask from the Congo


Q:  This mask was left in our home when we purchased it.  We are not collectors but are very intrigued, and who knows, this may start our hobby.  Can you tell us something about it? Thank you!!!  Machelle, 702

A: I think you are lucky. This is a good example of a used* mask from the Lwalu people from the West Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here masks are used for various rites, plus brief performances to bring good luck before the hunt. Now that I’ve pointed you in the right direction you might enjoy doing more research about the interesting customs of this culture and the various designs they use. I would love to see you start collecting masks from other cultures that occupy this huge country. You should start by getting a wonderful book called Face of the Spirits, Masks from the Zaire Bain.  A* (if truly used)

One Comment

  • DUBOIS Marc

    I’m not sure this is a USED mask for real tribal purpose. What is questionable is the lack of holes on the sides and the lack of a biting stick in the mouth.
    Otherwise, the global shape of the mask seems to be OK.
    By the way, I’m also looking for such a “cubic” mask from the Lwalu tribe
    Best regards

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