Mukenga or Mukyeem Helmet Mask. Kuba People, Kasai, DR Congo. Shell, Fur, Beads

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  • $495

Mukenga Mask
Mukyeem Mask
Helmet Mask
Kuba People
Kasai region
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Central Africa

Early / Mid 20th Century

Cowrie Shell , Monkey Hide, Beads, Raffia, Natural Fibers.

21” tall x 17” x 17”

Collected by naturalist and philanthropist, Eli Weiss in the 1980’s.

The mukenga mask is worn along with a richly layered costume of raffia and beaded ornaments at funerals of titleholders in the northern part of the Kuba Kingdom. Its form and materials comprise elements associated with status and leadership, including cowrie shells, leopard fur, monkey hair, glass beads, and red tail feathers of the African gray parrot. A prominent trunk and two tusks refer to the elephant, the supreme symbol of wealth and leadership among the Kuba.

Thank you for your interest in my curated selection of rare and unusual pieces! We have taken pride for over 20 years in our excellent reputation, and strive to satisfy our clients’ exact needs. Please note that we take great care in accurately describing our items, and we support that with a money back guarantee. If you receive a product that is not as described, we will promptly refund the cost once the item has been returned in good order. If you have any questions or require further images/information in order to make a decision please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thanks and Best Regards,
David Dixon and the Strange Imports Team