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20th C. Salampasu Carved Wood and Rattan Mask

Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salampasu, ca. 20th century CE. A dramatic hand-carved wooden mask, painted black with a white hairline, a mouth full of jagged teeth, and two projections from the temple that may represent personal adorment. A braided rattan goatee hangs from a round opening on the chin, with a rattan ball at the end. The top of the head is capped by almost two dozen dark rattan balls. The Salampasu live in present-day Kasai Province, in a region between the Kasai and Lulua rivers. They create masks to be worn during initiation ceremonies for young men, which take the form of masquerades. Size: 9.35" W x 11" H (23.7 cm x 27.9 cm); 22" H (55.9 cm) on included custom stand.

See a similar example covered in copper plates from Sotheby's: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/africanoceanic-n08858/lot.189.html

Condition: Face has slight wear on surface.

Provenance: private New York, USA collection

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