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Female Mask (Gambanda or Kambanda)

early 1900s
Overall: 27 x 22 x 28.5 cm (10 5/8 x 8 11/16 x 11 1/4 in.)
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This female mask would have performed in a collective multimedia event with audience participation.


Realized in typical Central Pende style, this mask is believed to represent gambanda, the chief's wife. In light of Pende theories about gender and physiognomy, the mask is an ideal expression of a woman's facial features and thus reflects her calm, obedient, peaceful, and self-controlled demeanor. The intricate hairstyle consisting of hundreds of miniature twists imitates a once fashionable hairdo.
Female Mask (Gambanda or Kambanda)

Female Mask (Gambanda or Kambanda)

early 1900s

Africa, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pende-style maker

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