Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: unknown mask

Expand Messages
  • Andrew
    Hi Jacques To me it looks like a simplified variation on a Lele mask. There is a beautiful mask in the Smithsonian - the similarities to the mask picture from
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 19, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Jacques

      To me it looks like a simplified variation on a Lele mask.

      There is a beautiful mask in the Smithsonian - the similarities to the mask picture from the Smithsonian are the arched brow lines and the long elongated nose drawing down to a set of protruding lips (also seen in Tribal Arts of Africa 1998:75). The painted lines under the eyes are often incised and follow patterns similar across many Kuba masks. There is an image of the Smithsonian mask is on my website.... http://www.suagacollection.com/mask_details.php?mask=19#

      The 20,000 Lele people occupy the western region of the Kuba kingdom and live from hunting and agriculture. They are believed to have come from the area of Lake Tumba and Lake Leopold II with the Kuba crossing to the east of the Kasai River only after clashes with the Bushong (Kuba sub-group).

      They are a matrilineal society, organised around age grades. The largest political system is the village, ruled nominally by the village chief who is the most senior male of the founding clan, but it is actually controlled by a balance of power between age sets (Mary Douglas 1963: 68-77:110).

      The art of the Lele is not well known and generally lumped in with that of the Kuba as it is similar in style - except for the masks which have a flattened shape. Their most prominent art forms are carved drums, divination instruments, boxes, pipes and palm wine cups. Lele carvers also produce statuettes and masks. The masks are generally rare and their function is little known.

      Several theories on the use of the mask exist, including its use in the funerary rites of a chief (Francois Nyet 1981:173 & Jean Baptiste Bacquart 1998:173) and as one of the 3 masks used in the annual foundling celebrations (Felix 1987:74).

      Essentially they are used in a similar way to the Kuba who share the creation myth with the Lele.

      Don't take this as gospel...but its the best I can do!


      Regards
      Andrew



      --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "jacques.toure" <jacques.toure@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello is anybody knows where this mask is coming from ?
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/699853136/pic/1692043051/view?
      >
      > thank you very much for your help by advance
      >
    • jacques.toure
      Hello thank you for your answer , i am a bit suprised because this mask is not plan at all like the Lele mask I have seen... The colors as well are a bit
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 20, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Hello thank you for your answer , i am a bit suprised because this mask is not plan at all like the Lele mask I have seen... The colors as well are a bit suprising , but thank you very much for your interested and the link to this nice web site .
        Jacques
      • Lee Rubinstein
        Jacques: The mask which you presented clearly displays aspects of form, style and coloration associated with Lele masks as well as other masks from the complex
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 21, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Jacques:

          The mask which you presented clearly displays aspects of form, style and coloration associated with Lele masks as well as other masks from the complex of Kuba-related subcultures including the Lele (aka Bashilele or Baschilele) to which Andrew provided references.  My recommendation is to search a broader sampling inclusive of masks attributed to traditions including those of the Lele, Bushoong (Kuba), Shoowa and Ngeende (also Kete and Bindji...).  As you observe examples not only of masks but also of , for instance, vessels (cups and boxes) and figures attributed to particular groups within and around the Kuba complex of cultures you will note formal and stylistic similarities and variations, illustrating the difficulty inherent in providing specific attributions in the absence of accurate data.  Even a review of museum's examples and their associated attributions tends to create an even murkier picture as such classifications often reflect gaps in specialized knowledge and/or understanding at the time of cataloguing!  

          To initiate this broader search as well as to develop an understanding of the inter-relationship among traditions within the Kuba complex you may begin with mask examples at the Brooklyn Museum attributed to the Lele and Biombo:
          Lele Mask, Source/Link:  Brooklyn Museum of Art web-site
          Biombo Mask Source/Link:  Brooklyn Museum of Art web-site

          Because of the diversity and early collection dates of works in their collection from early Congo Expeditions c. 1907-1910), the database of the American Museum of Natural History is another valuable and relevant resource to explore.  Lele and/or Kuba and "Kuba?" works accessible include these masks and figures:



          To understand more fully the ambiguities of classification and questions regarding authenticity in the realm of early collections from the Congo, read Enid Schildkrout and Curtis A. Keim (eds.), The Scramble for Art in Central Africa.  Johannes Fabian's research and writing on the "colonial encounter" in the Congo is also very, very interesting; see Out of Our Minds:  Reason and Madness in the Exploration of Central Africa.

          Lee

          On Jul 19, 2009, at 11:07 PM, Andrew wrote:

          Hi Jacques

          To me it looks like a simplified variation on a Lele mask.

          There is a beautiful mask in the Smithsonian - the similarities to the mask picture from the Smithsonian are the arched brow lines and the long elongated nose drawing down to a set of protruding lips (also seen in Tribal Arts of Africa 1998:75). The painted lines under the eyes are often incised and follow patterns similar across many Kuba masks. There is an image of the Smithsonian mask is on my website.... http://www.suagacol lection.com/ mask_details. php?mask= 19#

          The 20,000 Lele people occupy the western region of the Kuba kingdom and live from hunting and agriculture. They are believed to have come from the area of Lake Tumba and Lake Leopold II with the Kuba crossing to the east of the Kasai River only after clashes with the Bushong (Kuba sub-group).

          They are a matrilineal society, organised around age grades. The largest political system is the village, ruled nominally by the village chief who is the most senior male of the founding clan, but it is actually controlled by a balance of power between age sets (Mary Douglas 1963: 68-77:110).

          The art of the Lele is not well known and generally lumped in with that of the Kuba as it is similar in style - except for the masks which have a flattened shape. Their most prominent art forms are carved drums, divination instruments, boxes, pipes and palm wine cups. Lele carvers also produce statuettes and masks. The masks are generally rare and their function is little known.

          Several theories on the use of the mask exist, including its use in the funerary rites of a chief (Francois Nyet 1981:173 & Jean Baptiste Bacquart 1998:173) and as one of the 3 masks used in the annual foundling celebrations (Felix 1987:74). 

          Essentially they are used in a similar way to the Kuba who share the creation myth with the Lele.

          Don't take this as gospel...but its the best I can do!

          Regards
          Andrew

          --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, "jacques.toure" <jacques.toure@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello is anybody knows where this mask is coming from ?
          > 
          > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/699853136/ pic/1692043051/ view?
          > 
          > thank you very much for your help by advance
          >


        • Joseph
          I got this mask recently. I have not had any luck figuring who to attribute it to or what tribes may have inspired it. Any help out there? Thanks, Joe Photos:
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 22, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            I got this mask recently. I have not had any luck figuring who to attribute it to or what tribes may have inspired it. Any help out there?
            Thanks, Joe

            Photos:

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/149907423/pic/list
          • troyboy@sbcglobal.net
            I have a very unusual mask that is crude, with small squatting figure on top. Mask has dreadlocks, some type of fabric, dreads filled with straw of some kind.
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 26, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              I have a very unusual mask that is crude, with small squatting figure on top. Mask has dreadlocks, some type of fabric, dreads filled with straw of some kind. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/896358753/pic/list
            • Anne Mustienes
              Can anyone help me identify this mask. Thanks in advance.
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 24, 2011
              Can anyone help me identify this mask.  Thanks in advance.
            • Lee Rubinstein
              Anne: The stylization of the face is definitely suggestive of origin among Kongo groups ([Ba]Kongo, [Ba]Yombe, [Ba]Vili, [Ba]Sundi, for instance) in the
              Message 7 of 11 , Feb 24, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                Anne:

                The stylization of the face is definitely suggestive of origin among Kongo groups ([Ba]Kongo, [Ba]Yombe, [Ba]Vili, [Ba]Sundi, for instance) in the People's Republic of Congo (PRC). The nail embellishment -- although I am not familiar with the such embellishments in masks -- is an observable feature in figures throughout this cultural complex -- which may suggest a relationship with Kongo masks and the influence of figures from Kongo groups.  

                Lee

                On Feb 24, 2011, at 4:33 PM, Anne Mustienes wrote:

                 

                Can anyone help me identify this mask.  Thanks in advance.


              • ironjpa
                Can someone help to identify this mask. Thanks Joe photos at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/1692176163/pic/list
                Message 8 of 11 , Mar 20 11:56 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Can someone help to identify this mask.
                  Thanks
                  Joe

                  photos at
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/1692176163/pic/list
                • Gi Mateusen
                  My first reaction was: Bembe
                  Message 9 of 11 , Mar 20 2:02 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    My first reaction was: Bembe
                  • Lee Rubinstein
                    Although the mask is more simplified in over-all form than comparative examples, details of the eye regions, abstract mouth and narrow chin are reminiscent of
                    Message 10 of 11 , Mar 20 9:24 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Although the mask is more simplified in over-all form than comparative examples, details of the eye regions, abstract mouth and narrow chin are reminiscent of Mbagani masks from the West Kasai region;  however, the nose, ears and smooth upper portion do not seem consistent with examples of Mbagani masks.  It would certainly be worthwhile as a starting point to compare with Mbagani and other mask traditions from that region.  Lee


                      On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 2:56 PM, ironjpa <ironjpa@...> wrote:
                       

                      Can someone help to identify this mask.
                      Thanks
                      Joe

                      photos at
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/1692176163/pic/list


                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.