Details

Title

Mask

Artist/Maker

Pende Artist (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Date

Early twentieth century

Medium

Wood and kaolin pigment

Dimensions

11 1/2 × 7 1/2 × 4 inches

Credit

Purchase through funds provided by patrons of Collectors Evening 2013

Accession #

2013.2

On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 403

Masquerading enjoyed an extraordinary resurgence in the Central Pende region in the early twentieth century, in part because so many other routes to male prestige had been blocked. In the 1930s, during the Pende rebellion, masquerade performance constituted a form of resistance to Belgian colonial rule. Pende masquerade performance remains vital to this day. Masks with black-and-white faces are called masques de maladie, or sickness masks. These masks represent people whose faces are permanently disfigured by illness in order to promote compassion for these individuals.

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