Ngombe mask
  • Ngombe mask
  • African art mask from Congo
  • African mask Ngombe Ngbandi

Ngombe mask


Known in African art from the north of the D.R. Congo, masks of this type are sometimes erroneously attributed to the Ngandi.

Indeed, the notched naso-frontal ridge is often considered a hallmark of the Ngbandi world, but in fact it appears sporadically on the masks of almost all groups in the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, although the notches appear with a greater regularity on today's Ngbandi masks.

The rough features of this mask frightened children as it chased them around their homes - pure comedic entertainment for adults.

The thick incisions on the nose are an obvious contemporary variant of the motif worn as scarifications in these regions of Ubangi.

Like the majority of masks from the regions adjoining the Central African Republic, this African Ngombe mask was probably used as part of a secret initiation rather than in a public performance.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
2nd half XXth
32 cm (41 cm with support)
Ethnic group
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Gathered in situ

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