First half of the 20th Century, good patina
Today, the Pende tribe is divided into West and East-Pendé. In the 17th century, a large group of the Pende migrated from the southwest to the southeast of Democratic Republic of Congo and now lives on the banks of the Kwilu River. There, the Eastern Pende have developed their own art style.
The present, 'classic' helmet mask of the East Pende belonged exclusively to the 'treasure' of a chief.
With this mask-type only the chiefs were allowed to 'dance' for large initiations.
This mask is called 'Giphogo' or 'Kipoko mask'. It is carved from light wood and shows the typical, Bell-like shape: With a button on top, a hairstyle with lateral 'secret advice corners', wide eyebrow bows, slotted, large coffee bean eyes, protruding, large ears. The big nose is, like the forehead and the ears, adorned with old wallpaper nails.
At the bottom, it is decorated with a black and white coloured zig-zag relief. On the back are holes in which a part of the mask costume was tied.
There are decorative scars on both cheeks. The whole mask exterior is black, red and white in colour.
An old and rare piece, with age-related damage and repair: There are breakouts on the right cheek / eye area, as well as colour abrasion on edges due to long usage time.
With an old patina from use on the inside of the 'helmet'
Height 32 cm
Mid 20th century (ME)
old private collection, being dissolved due to lack of interest
‘The Tribal Arts of Africa’ von J.-B. Bacquart, p. 176, figure 2.
'Encyclopedia of African Art and Culture' v. K-F. Schädler, figure p. 249
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