Pende masked initiation figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
wood, raffia fiber, pigment
17" tall



$800


A Pende figure depicting a masked dancer. What I especially love about this object is the depiction of movement
in the arms and the legs, but especially the legs. The torso of the figure is twisted to the right at about a 30
degree angle. The piece is carved out of one piece of wood, but the legs have been previously broken and
repaired and it is my thought that when this was done the lower portion of the costume was replaced. The raffia
around the head and neck is much older than the raffia below. I don't know much about these figures, but like the
Songye masked figures they may have been used to teach young initiates some of the esoteric information about
all of the components of the mask and costume, as well as the meaning of the accompanying dance steps, music
and songs.
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.