KubaREGION OF ORIGIN:
Democratic Republic of CongoMATERIAL:
Wood, pigment, grass, cloth, cowrie shell, beads.SIZE:
15" (38.1 cm)CONDITION:
Estimated early to mid 1900's.
Display stand included.
Private Estate Collection - Florida, USA.
The Kuba ngady a mwash (one of the three royal masks) mask portrays Woot's sister and his wife and is the female ancestor and essence of womanhood.
Ngady a Mwash is a carved face mask with narrow slit eyes that allow the wearer to see. A wig of raffia cloth and cowries is topped by a cap form. A strip of beadwork covers her nose and descends over her mouth. Her face is covered with bold geometric patterns. Diagonal lines below Ngady a Mwash's eyes symbolize tears and refer to hardships of women.
In the mime acted out, ngady a mwash is fought over by the royal mwashamboy and the commoner bwoom The name ngady a mwash means "pawn woman of mash". She is a pawn in the sense that she is used by her lord to attract followers granting access to her favors.