LWALWA MASK 10, DRC

Photographs © Tim Hamill

 LWALWA
Mask 10
14" high
$150

This mask, despite its traditional appearance, is relatively new and was probably made to be sold.

Masks are the primary art form of the Lwalwa people who live near the Kasai River in the Dem. Rep. of the Congo. Among the Lwalwa masks serve to witness initiations and circumcisions of the youths and some are danced during hunting rituals.
Lwalwa masks display a balanced composition, an enlarged angular nose, a protruding mouth and narrow slotted eyes. These sharply delineated features give Lwalwa art an almost geometric appearance. The shapes of the nose are modeled after different birds. The choreography of masked dances was highly complex and had to appease the spirits of the ancestors and compel them to intervene. Masks still play a role today in secular festivities but now the mask dances are performed for payment, and their magic has largely given way to entertainment.

RETURN TO LWALWA MASKS PAGE

RETURN TO MASKS AND HEADS PAGE

GO TO NEW ADDITIONS PAGE

HOMEPAGE

 Index by
TRIBE

 Index by
OBJECT

CONTACT US