BEMBE MASKS ARCHIVES


The masks below are all SOLD and are left here for reference and educational purposes.

For unsold Bembe masks  GO TO BEMBE MASKS PAGE

 

Bembe 1
48" high
SOLD

 

Bembe 18
14.5" high
SOLD

Bembe 45
19.5 " high
SOLD


Bembe 2
31" SOLD

Bembe 3
SOLD

Bembe 6
SOLD

Bembe 7
SOLD

Bembe 8
SOLD

Bembe 9
SOLD

Bembe 10
SOLD

Bembe 12
SOLD

 Bembe 13
SOLD

 Bembe 15
SOLD

  Bembe 16
SOLD

Bembe 17
SOLD

 Bembe 19
SOLD

  Bembe 20
SOLD

 Bembe 21
SOLD

 Bembe 24
SOLD

 Bembe 25
SOLD

  Bembe 26
SOLD

  Bembe 27
SOLD

 Bembe 28
SOLD

 Bembe 29
SOLD

  Bembe 30
SOLD

Bembe 32
SOLD

Bembe 33
SOLD

Bembe 35
SOLD

Photographs © Tim Hamill

Traditional masks and headdresses of the eastern Bembe people of the DRC (formerly Zaire) are recognizable for their concave, cupped orbits around the bulging "coffee-bean" eyes, the masks take several hauntingly beautiful forms.

Elanda masks, from the Elanda male association, most often have a rounded top and a flat bottom, with a spiritual, mysterious, but human face. Some with rounded faces are similar, but those with pointed beak-like chins and small tufts or horns represent bird or animal spirits. Several have multiple sets of eyes, one or two functioned as ceremonial shields.

The second major type are the Kalunga helmet masks, more abstract in form, which represented bush spirits. They were kept in secrecy and brought out for public dances and ceremonies. To aid in their protective power, they had at least two faces and often four.

Neighbors of the Lega people, Bembe men and women share membership in their Bwami asociation, through which members rise through a lifetime of social and ethical deeds.

Although wonderfully carved, most of these Bembe masks show no evidence of age or use and were probably made to be sold.

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