Rare complete Kuba Ngaady-a-Mwaash masked barkcostume.
Mask with helmet including carved wooden ears, body wear, gloves, socks, hip belt and leg bracelets.
Beautifully painted barkcloth richly decorated with the different traditional Kuba design figures. Both the head helmet and hip belt have a thick raphia base and are richly covered with cowrie shells. Helmet is heavy and large (30 cm long, 20 cm diameter) and decorated with cowry crowns.
Materials: raphia, painted bark, pigments cowrie shelles, beads, wood, grass fibres, nutshells.
Ngaady-a-Mwaash is a carved face mask type with narrow slit eyes that allow the wearer to see. A wig of raffia cloth and cowries is topped by a cap form. A strip of beadwork covers the nose and descends over the mouth. The face is covered with bold geometric patterns. Diagonal lines below Ngaady-a-Mwaash's eyes symbolize tears and refer to hardships of women.
The Kuba Ngaady-a-Mwaash (one of the three royal masks) mask portrays Woot's sister and his wife and is the female ancestor, and essence of womanhood. In the mime act, Ngaady-a-Mwaash is fought over by the royal 'mwashamboy' and the commoner 'bwoom'. The name 'ngaady-a-mwaash' means "pawn woman of mash". She is a pawn in the sense that she is used by her lord to attract followers granting access to her favors.
The costume is in fine condition. Some small minor natural holes in the bark. A tear in the left glove wrist. Mask shows signs of a local repair. For hanging it out some seams can be tightened.
Stunning piece for a collection.
Length top helmet to the bottom of the sock approx. 150 cm.
Body width approx. 55 cm.
Sleeves excl. glove approx. 50 cm.
Acquired in Zaire itself in early 1990s. Age approximately 1980-85.
Ex Dutch private collection.
- Traje de tela de corteza Kuba completo raro.
- Región / país
- República Democrática del Congo
- Finales del siglo XX
- En buen estado, usado con algunos signos de desgaste
- Se vende con soporte
- 150×55×3 cm
- 1750 g