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Kuba du Zaïre, oil on canvas / 130 x 81 cm – 51.1 x 31.8 in. / 2011

In Zaire, the Kuba Kingdom includes 18 tribes. The masks are the property of the royal family, and the dances performed with it, are only shown in the King’s court.

Presented as a play, nevertheless, the King is moderately criticize on the management of the kingdom and it shows areas where progress is slow. Like the Djeli, the actors hold a freedom of expression towards the sovereign, useful for the development of the society.

On the left, the mask Moshambwooy decorated with eagle feathers at its top and a beard in goat hair, in the center, the main mask named bwoom, it leads the dance during the performance.

To the right, it is the mask Mukyeem with its frontal ornament shaped like an elephant’s trunk. In the background two dignitaries of the royal court assist the actors.


Masks of the Kuba royal court
Zaïre (D. Republic of Congo)
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