Democratic Republic of Congo
19″ tall (48 cm)
Stand Note Included.
Private Collection – California, USA.
Discover the captivating world of Lwalwa masks, the iconic art form of the Lwalwa people residing near the Kasai River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These masks hold a profound significance, bearing witness to the age-old traditions of initiation and circumcision ceremonies among the youth, as well as being part of hunting rituals.
Lwalwa masks mesmerize with their impeccable composition, featuring an angular nose, prominent mouth, and intricately slotted eyes. These intricately carved features lend the art a mesmerizing geometric allure. The distinctive noses of the masks draw inspiration from various birds, adding a touch of natural beauty.
The choreography of masked dances is a true testament to the complexity and devotion of Lwalwa culture. This ancient tradition aims to honor the spirits of the ancestors and seek their intervention. While masks continue to play a role in contemporary secular festivities, the nature of mask dances has transformed over time. Today, these enchanting performances are now enjoyed for entertainment purposes, with dancers receiving compensation for their talent and expertise.
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the Lwalwa people as you witness the evolution of their vibrant mask art, from a sacred ritual to an awe-inspiring form of entertainment.
Please see images – note age crack on face of mask.