Dance Mask
Salampasu, Democratic Republic of Congo, Early 20th C.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by Evelyn Annenberg Jaffe Hall from Aaron Furman gallery, New York, 6/26/67, then by descent to present owner.

Artistic expression and performance are utilized in many African societies as a way to impart cultural ideals to members of the community. Masks are often used to represent specific traits valued within a society. This Dance Mask from the Salampasu of the Dem. Rep. of Congo is one of three different types of masks used during initiation ceremonies for young men. The mask is made of wood, plated with metal, believed to be a powerful medium. A woven fiber hangs down from the chin of the mask, stylistically representing a beard. The mask's bared teeth and pronounced forehead suggests a feeling of ferocity and aggressiveness. The sunken eyes give off an intensity expected of hunters, warriors, and chiefs, roles which the young men being initiated are expected to become.
Height: Mask is 12 in. high. With fiber beard attachment: 18 in. high.
IN 9-1-13 / Price On Request