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Re: [African_Arts] unknown mask?

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  • Lee Rubinstein
    Source: http://sanza.skynetblogs.be/tag/1/persona The mask presented strikes me as a synthesis of different styles. I think the overall form and the
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 17, 2009
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      07 kuba
      The mask presented strikes me as a synthesis of different styles.  I think the overall form and the "hair-line" are suggestive of Kuba influence (for instance, see the example above attributed to the Kuba-Bushoong or Kuba-Kete) -- including some Bwoom masks -- as well as masks from the Luluwa -- while the rounded eyes seem to be drawn perhaps from Luba masks.  The Kuba mask above also appears, I believe, as Cat No. 67 on page 142 of Frank Herreman and Constantijn Petridis, eds., Face of the Spirits:  Masks from the Zaire Basin  (Ghent:  Snoeck-Ducaju & Zoon, 1994), p. 142.  This book is an excellent resource on Congolese masks and also includes an example of the Luluwa mask form with perforated eye region recently discussed.

      Generally, the facial elements -- eyes, nose, mouth and ears -- and general form of the mask you presented resembles most -- without its animal features -- a mask attributed to the Luba which appears as Cat. No. 95 in Roberts and Roberts' Memory:  Luba Art and the Making of History (New York/Munich:  The Museum for African Art/Prestel, 1996), p. 220. [No image available... Sorry!]  A possible influence for the mouth on your mask may be traceable -- or perceived anyway -- from the figure-eight-shaped mouth that can be found on some Songye masks and figures although this mouth is not quite so hyper-stylized... (The inter-relationship between Songye and Luba mask styles is recognizable in the overlapping occurrence of bifwebe.)  

      Although the mask below is not the one to which I refer above and does not display the strong resemblance of the mask illustrated in Roberts and Roberts book on Luba arts (also highly recommended), it offers at least a glimpse of a Luba mask example that bears some formal relationship... in theory.  Lee
      Masque luba. Ht. 39cm.
      Trésors d'Afrique. Musée de Tervuren, op. cit., p. 191.
      Photographie R. Asselberghs.



      On Sep 16, 2009, at 3:27 PM, GARYGLS2000@... wrote:

      I believe it is a Kuba mask.




      -----Original Message-----
      From: ironjpa53 <ironjpa@triad. rr.com>
      To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Wed, Sep 16, 2009 1:01 pm
      Subject: [African_Arts] unknown mask?

       
      I have not been able to find anything that resembles this mask in any of my references. The bulging eyes with the openings as bottom slits are new to me as is the shovel blade shape of the mask. I am also curious about the mis-shaped and off center mouth. It has newer holes drilled by cracks at the top and bottom of the mask obviously for repairs that were never finished. Does anyone recognize this style?
      Thanks, Joe

      http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/606318878/ pic/1065394328/ view?


    • joseph anderson
      Hi Lee. Gerard van den Heuvel sent me a photo of the mask you referred to. I photo-shopped some of the fur and it is easy to see mine is copied from a photo of
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 18, 2009
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      Hi Lee.
      Gerard van den Heuvel sent me a photo of the mask you referred to. I
      photo-shopped some of the fur and it is easy to see mine is copied from
      a photo of this one. Thanks for all your help. You put in an amazing
      amount of time for our benefit.

      Joe
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