Photographs © Bill Mrachek
EASTERN PENDE, Mask 9, 6.5" h x 17" w, $160, Dem. Rep. of Congo
The Pende people of the Democratic Republic of Congo are grouped into small kingdoms, which consolidate several clans under the rule of a chief whose main role is that of mediator with the ancestors. Even though the society is matrilineal, the sculptor's profession is transmitted from father to son. Pende art styles vary widely, with a more abstract, geometric style in the east and a more naturalistic one in the central area and to the west. This mask is called Panya-Yombe and forms part of the decorative elements of the Men's House.
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