Salampasu mask. Congo.
Carved Wood, woven folders, cloth and feathers.
Salampasu are a warrior people living in Shaba province between the rivers Lulua and Lueta, tributaries of the Kasai River. The chiefs are chosen from among those who have shown the most aptitude for leadership. They have retained the customs of a rough and primitive life.
These masks are worn in the initiation rites of men’s associations, on occasion of bereavement or enthronement, as well as to pay homage to headhunters. The costume, composed of animal skins, feathers, and fibers, is as important as the mask itself. Earning the right to wear a mask involved performing specific deeds and large payments of livestock, drink and other material goods. Once a man ‘owned’ the mask, other ‘owners’ taught this new member particular esoteric knowledge associated with it.
Condition: Good, wear consistent with age. Hole in center of forehead.
Measures: 14”x 8” x16" H
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