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Panya Ngombe Face Mask
Panya Ngombe Face Mask
Resource Typeimage
TitlePanya Ngombe Face Mask
Coverage / YearZaire (formerly Democratic Republic of Congo); Early 20th century
DescriptionThis triangular wood mask is nearly flat and painted all over with a reddish paint. A narrow band of alternating black and white triangles is painted along the outer edge of the face from eye to eye along the chin. The wide eyes have very narrow slits and bulge out. A long, slightly flaring nose extends down from the raised eyebrows that are painted black. A small raised rectangle centered below the nose represents the mouth. The cheeks have short, straight, vertical incised lines. Long concave ears extend out in line with the eyes.
InterpretationThe Pende live in the southwestern part of Zaire. They are mainly farmers, producing millet, maize, plantain and peanuts. The women do most of the farm work and all of the selling of goods in community markets. Men help clear fields and occasionally hunt and fish for additional food. The Pende people are matrilineal, with the eldest maternal uncle recognized as the head of the family with responsibility for the well-being of the family and taking care of the ancestors. The Pende carve several types of masks, mostly associated with education and initiation rituals. The masks embody ancestral forces and serve as intermediaries with the spirit world. Masks of the eastern Pende are typically painted red, black and white and decorated with rows of small, incised painted triangles. They are flat and characterized by exaggerated width and large projecting ears. This type of mask was mounted on the doors and over windows of chiefs' compounds as emblems of office.
Lesson Plans / ThemesAfrican Folk Tales; African Novel Study;
Learning Standards16 History; 18 Social Systems; 25-27 Fine Arts;
Author or CreatorPende (African people) Social life and customs
SourceDonated to the Lakeview Museum by Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Meyer
Subject / KeywordsZaire; Africa; Masks; Emblems of office; Pende
Collection PublisherLakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statementhttp://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc/conditions.htm
Resource IdentifierLVM1975.010.007
CONTENTdm file name3121017872002_facemask.jpg
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