Photographs © Tim Hamill
LUBA, Mask 18
10" high mask, 14" high with raffia
Of the several different mask types used by the Luba, this type of bowl-shaped mask elaborated with parallel grooves was worn with a raffia costume and danced in male/female couples representing spirits, kijwebe, which connect this world with the spirit world. Used to mark important periods of social transition and transformation, they appeared at the death of a chief or other eminent person.
This mask shows no signs of having actually been danced and was probably made to be sold.