Pongdudu Mask - dense hardwood - Boa - D.R.C.

Pongdudu Mask - dense hardwood - Boa - D.R.C.
It dates to around the 1900/1920 period or somewhat later - Good

Impressive Pongdudu Mask – Boa – D.R.C.

In fine state with plenty of marks of age. It dates to around the 1900/1920 period or somewhat later. On stand.

Provenance: Ex – collection of Jonathan Mankowitz. Bought from him in his gallery in Baker street, London in 1981 by P. Westerdijk.

Pongdudu masks are described as warmasks supposedly worn to intimidate the enemy in battle. They are said to have been the prerogative of front soldiers or lombe who had proven their bravery. Other explanations make them being used by medicine men going into action with dancesteps, songs and drugs before engaging the adversaries. These masks shows a strong, solemn face with a facetted forehead overhanging a plane in which narrow slit-eyes are set under an angle on each side of a sturdy, straight nose. The shape of the mouth echoes that of the eyes. The receding chin is yet another cubistic element in the total abstract design of the face. The large, flat ears are put on the sides without being the open, perpendicular extensions of much older pieces made in the 19th century. The main colors are black and white as is usual for such pieces. The white is strongly fainted over time.

Literature: Roy Sieber and Roslyn Adele Walker: African Art in the Cycle of Life, Washington – London, 1987, p. 85, fig. 42.

Dimensions: 37 x 21 x 14 cm.
People / Region: The Boa live in the northeastern D.R.C. close to the Zande and Mangbetu.
Material: dense hardwood.
Weight: 0.650 kg.

Sold with handwritten declaration of authenticity by Dr. P. Westerdijk, museum ethnologist and cultural anthropologist specialized, for over 50 years now, in the study of the material cultures in African nations that live south of the Sahara.

Lot details
Pongdudu Mask
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
dense hardwood
It dates to around the 1900/1920 period or somewhat later
Sold with stand
37×21×14 cm
0.65 kg
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