Very expressive african mask from the Bembe, Congo. This type of mask represents the source of all fertility. Hand carved from a single piece of wood, with groove decoration.Height: 33 cm.
The professional standard is not included in the auction. You can order it there for 29.85 euros.
Taxatiewaarde; 225 - 275 euro
The Bembe form a small group of 60 to 80,000 people; they live on the plateaus situated to the north of the Zaire River, as well as on the shores of Stanley Pool and in the cities of Brazzaville, Dolisie, and Pointe-Noire. The Bembe had close contacts with their neighbors the Teke, but Kongo contributions were essential to their culture and traditions. Their social organization was based on the matrimonial clan, whose members could live in several villages. The family unit generally included three generations. The chief in charge of the village, the nga-bula, mediated with the ancestors. Hunting was the main activity; before leaving on a hunt, the leader would invoke the ancestral spirits, using as intermediaries statuettes kneeling in the position of a hunter waiting for his prey. The Bembe believed in a creator god, Nzambi, whom they did not depict figuratively. He was the master of the life and death – unless the latter was due to the act of a sorcerer, ndoki, who could magically “eat” the life force of clan members. The ancestors had close ties with the living and received offerings through the “priest,” who made appeals to statuettes, the kitebi or bimbi, consecrated by the sorcerer. These figurines were the idealized images of the ancestors and would often wear attributes that allowed them to be identified as medicine men or hunters. The ancestor worship among the Bembe is older, though, and precedes the use of magic statues, nkisi, by the sorcerers.