Country: DR Congo.
Date: early 20th century.
Medium: wood, raffia.
Size: h. 38 cm (15 in.).
Provenance: ex collection R. Mikobi, Brussels.
Extra: Beautiful mask from the Ngombe ‘water people’ who inhabit the Itimbiri-Ngiri and the triangle formed by the Congo and the Ubangi. Their art works show a great similarity with those of neighboring groups, including the Ngbandi, Bwaka, Togbo and Ngala. Most of their statues and masks were used in magical ceremonies, although some ancestor-cult rituals are also known such as for the supreme creator Akongo and the ancestor goddess Mbokomu. They can also be placed at the entrance to the village for apotropaic reasons.
Photo credit: © Jean Godecharle.