Mask (Idangani)

Mask is made entirely of blackish-brown dyed and molded raffia fiber; face has bulging forehead, deeo set narrow eyes, bulbous nose, and raffia “beard.” Top of head has cone-like crest of small fiber knots.
Artist Unknown, African, Sala Mpasu Peoples Democratic Republic of the Congo
c. 1900-1983
In pre-colonial Sala Mpasu society authority was vested in members of the Matambu warriors’ society who could secure the rights to wear an array of important masks. The most prestigious of these were the idangani, made entirely of woven fiber. These masks represented a husband and wife pair. This mask is female, identified by small fiber knobs that recall a popular woman’s hairstyle.
Gift of Prof. and Mrs. Horace M. Miner
Tuesday, April 20, 2021