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Metoko Bukota Society Handheld Mask, Congo #310
- Metoko Bukota Society Handheld Mask, Congo #310
- Classic Metoko Mask that is completely covered with vertical grooves. Light, white and dark brown pigmentation. In the hollow of these furrows, kaolin pigments have become encrusted, conferring a light brown patina on the object. Furrows of desiccation run through the Mask.
- Measurements: 44×22×10 cm
- Condition: Excellent. Beautifully patinated with a handle exhibiting long wear and Ritual Use. Mid 20th century.
- The tubular eyelids give a compelling and fearsome expression to this African Mask of the Metoko People, danced on the occasion of Initiation and Funeral Rites. The numerous scarifications, inscribed in alternating parallel lines, reveal the status of the character embodied by the Mask; a "worthy old man who has been the victim of Witchcraft or Ritual Pollution".
- The Metoko Governing Force, the Bukota Society, welcomed both men and women. The Bukota Society is the equivalent of the Bwami Association of the Lega. The Masks were danced, and played a role in the context of Initiation and Funeral Rites. The Masks were then later placed on the Tomb of High-Ranking Initiates to honor them. The two Upper Grades of the Bukota Society, the Nkumi and Kasimbi, enjoyed the prerogative of physically holding certain Objects of Worship. (ref.: Art and Life in Africa, Christopher D. Roy)
- Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo / Congo