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Unknown Maker
Tshimwana Mask Tshimwana Mask
19th-20th century 19th-20th century

A wreath of raffia, a fibre taken from the raffia palm and much used in African communities, frames the face of this tshimwana mask. As with the other tshimwana mask in the Lang collection (M07.001.01), it features coffee-bean shaped eyes, a bulbous forehead, and geometric motifs decorating the forehead, cheeks and chin. Here those motifs are triangles highlighted with white pigment.

Biombo masks share some stylistic traits with those of the nearby Kuba peoples. Both create tshimwana masks, and though often considered female, they are likely performed during the course of men¿s initiation rites. The three pierced projections located at the crown of the mask are used to attach additional components of a dancer¿s costume.

 
Unknown Maker
Biombo peoples Biombo peoples
Tshimwana Mask Tshimwana Mask
19th-20th century 19th-20th century
wood, pigment, vegetable fibres wood, pigment, vegetable fibres
height / width / depth: 45.10 x 30.10 x 23.50 cm; 17.76 x 11.85 x 9.25 in.
Gift of Justin and Elisabeth Lang, 1984 Gift of Justin and Elisabeth Lang, 1984
M84-405

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