The Pende peoples are generally divided into three regions: western, central and the eastern. Each area has a distinct aesthetic style, with the eastern region tending to produce works with more abstract features. There is also a larger separation in mask production that correlates to the different political structures of the east and west. Western, or Bandundu Pende peoples, have a central authority, governing several large chiefdoms. By contrast, eastern Kasai Pende power is decentralized and they rely on smaller parallel chiefdoms. Due to this lack of central government, more masks in the east are created to maintain social harmony and public order, unlike in the west where masks are more likely to be produced solely for entertainment. There are three general categories of sacred masks for the Pende people of the eastern Kasai region: “masks of the mukanda initiation,” “masks of the village,” and “masks of power.” The first category of masks is created for initiation ceremonies and circumcision camps. These masks are animistic characters, sometimes representing recognizable animals such as antelopes, and other times they are abstract animal spirits with no recognizable features. The second category of masks is used to maintain social unity through the village renewal ceremony and millet dance. The final category is linked to the office of the chief and these masks are displayed on the exteriors of the leaders’ homes. It is difficult to determine the category for this particular mask, because mask aesthetics are constantly evolving and there are also multiple variations in style throughout the region.Some scholars report that there are no new masks being invented by the eastern Pende, and that masquerades in general are losing their prevalence and importance within communities. Once so important for both entertainment and ritual, they are now more associated with religious practices geared to the older generation.