African Kuba Elephant Moshambwooy Mask
Vintage African Royal Elephant mask helmet also known as a Kuba Bushoong Moshambwooy mask. Carved from wood and adorned heavily with raffia, beading and cowrie shells this vintage elephant ceremonial mask originates from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This type mask is worn at the initiation rites to symbolize the culture hero Woot who originated royalty, the political structure and most of the arts and crafts. The superstructure of the mask appears to represent the tusk of an elephant which is a royal emblem. The mask may only be worn by men of royal descent.
In the southern Kuba area, the elephant mask appeared in the funeral dances of aristocratic members (generally worn by the dancer personifying the deceased) and the rich display of beads and shells underscored their status.
It is difficult to determine the date of construction. The previous owner had travelled extensively during the 1920's to the 1970's and acquired a large collection of antiques as expected from a renowned Los Angeles philanthropist.
A great addition to your African decor home early Halloween, holiday or birthday gift or the perfect gift for a mask collector.
Mask measures 16" long by 28" tall by 15.5" wide and weighs 4lb 10oz.
In good condition considering age and use - please see all pictures as they form part of the description.
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