Pende Mask




                                   Upper View


                                 Lower View

The Pende people settled in the region near the Loango and Kasai Rivers. They are governed by a......


The Pende people settled in the region near the Loango and Kasai Rivers. They are governed by a central authority, but pay allegiance to family chiefs, known as Djigo. The tribe members are divided into numerous territorial groups, the two most important being in Kwilu and Kasai.

The Pende political system is mainly controlled by lineage and marriage. There is no recognized central political power, and the chiefs that do exist do not exercise significant authority.  The extended family seems to serve the needs of social control within individual communities. The Pende are a matrilineal people, and the eldest maternal uncle in a family is usually recognized as heading the lineage, a position that entails ensuring the well-being of the family and taking care of the ancestors.

The ancestors (mvumbi) are placated through various rituals and offerings. The family head is responsible for taking care of the shrines and appeasing the spirits. They may be either good or bad, depending on the manner in which they died. Also, when ancestors are neglected they will cause bad things to happen to the family. The result may be sickness or hardship, both of which require a visit to the local diviner to determine the best way to appease the spirits.

Pende masks are among the most dramatic works of all African art, they have about twenty characters and seven “masks of power” which appear in ceremonies such as millet-planting celebration or circumcision and initiation ritual, and the ritual of enthronement of a chief.

Approximate dimensions: 90cm (H) x 31cm (W) x 20cm (D)

Weight: 3.6kg

Price: please send us an inquiry and we will answer as soon as possible

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