Kuba nyet mask

aaaMystrySolvd-985Q:  I bought this mask for $10 from the Berner’s Auction Gallery in Springfield Ohio. I cannot identify it and believe it may be an Indonesian or Ghanian copy. It measures approximately 18″ long and has cowrie shells and beads in addition to the pigments. Could you help me identify it? Thank you so very much.  Irene,985

A:  This mask from the Kuba people in the Democratic Republic of Congo is generally called a nyet. Horns were added to a mask for the image of power and strength. It has a nice colorful appearance and is further embellished with beadwork and cowries. I think the masks is quite desirable even though it is made for the export market and not an old, used item.  B+

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