About this artwork
Little is known about the meaning and use of these masks. Only 20 examples are extant and even their common attribution to the little-known Bwa (or Boa) people remains uncertain. Named pongdudu in early 20th-century written sources, such face masks were described as promising to confer invulnerability during battle, and instilling fear in the enemy. However, recent research has indicated that the relationship between these masks and warfare is fictitious.
- Face Mask
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Wood, kaolin, and pigment
- H. 28.6 cm (11 1/4 in.)
- Samuel A. Marx Restricted Fund