September 5, 2013
This Kuba mask, known as Mbwoom, is predominately made of carved wood with cowrie shell and bead embellishments. The Kuba people live in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Masks of this type are from the Kuba royal court, and are worn in dances during important festivities. The mask serves to send appeals to the ancestors. There are three main mythical characters represented in Kuba royal masks: Woot, the original Kuba king, Woot’s sister/wife, and a pygmy commoner who tried to lure the king’s wife away, symbolized by the Mbwoom mask.