© Tim Hamill
BEMBE, MASK NO. 33 , 16", $350, Dem. Rep. of Congo
Traditional masks and headdresses of the eastern Bembe people of the Dem. Rep. of Congo (formerly Zaire) are recognizable for their concave, cupped orbits around the bulging "coffee-bean" eyes, the masks take several hauntingly beautiful forms.
Elanda masks, from the Elanda male association, most often have a rounded top and a flat bottom, with a spiritual, mysterious, but human face. Some with rounded faces are similar, but those with pointed beak-like chins and small tufts or horns represent bird or animal spirits. Several have multiple sets of eyes, one or two functioned as ceremonial shields.
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