The Kuba mask African Bwoom tribal is the oldest known mask, the Kuba bwoom mask. The materials used for the realization of the Mask are: Wood, colors and vibrates plants, caures, beads, animal hair. In dance it expresses exuberance and joy. The style is similar to that of the middle Kasai. This Kuba mask African is a helmet with animal hair, carved with a very wide forehead and hollow cheeks that are announced by motifs or dashes and beads. The mouth of the mask is very pronounced carved in wood and then applied on the mask. To distinguish the forehead in different areas are used black and white beads to draw attention to other aspects of the face such as the nose and chin. The entire edge of the chin is surrounded by beads of various colors. The person wearing the mask cannot look because there are no holes for the eyes present; the mask must create the feeling of being blind. Some masks similar to the bwoom mask include the funny mask, the ram mask and initiation masks such as Nnup.
The real Kuba masks are the most important and sacred, where images of nature spirits “mingesh” that act as intermediaries between the Supreme Being “Nyeem” and mortals are depicted. Kings and priests become Mingeshs after death. The bwoom occupies the second place of importance in the hierarchy. This mask is carefully preserved as a symbol of family continuity, unlike the moshambwooy, which is buried with the king when he dies. In dance it expresses exuberance and joy. e name Kuba, that is “people of lightning and light”, is given by the neighbouring tribe Luba. The king, Nyim, is chosen in the sub-tribal Bushoong, “knife throwers”.
Height: 11.82 in. (30 cm)
Width: 9.45 in. (24 cm)
Depth: 15.75 in. (40 cm)
Wear consistent with age and use. Slight scratches due to age and use.