Outstanding Old Chokwe Mask – NGULU – Angola
1960-70. Wood, metal, pigment, textile, raffia, coins, bones, beads, shells, button. Approx. cm. 30,0 high x cm. 17,0 width x cm 15,0 depth (11.81″ x 6.69″ x 5.91″). On the customised stand, the piece is cm. 57,0 high (22.44″). Displaying good, old usage patina on the outside as well as on the inside.
Ngulu masks such as this were worn high up on the head allowing the dancer to see through the bast-fibre cloth that was attached underneath to both sides of the mask. These masks are mostly encountered together with the mask of the beautiful maiden (Mwana pwo) and represent an aspect of the untrammelled, unpredictable and wild side of nature.
This ‘Ngulu’ mask is made of hard, light-coloured wood, coloured on the outside black and brown. A red band (with white underneath) straps over the animal’s snout. The presentation is naturalistic branded on both cheeks with two round, slightly raised marks and with a colonial coin embedded on the forehead between the ears. Above, towards the back, and bound up in stripes of fabric, are hung extravagant trappings. Pig masks such as this were worn high up on the head allowing the dancer to see through the bast-fibre cloth that was attached underneath to both sides of the mask.
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