MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Dance Mask
Object Name:
Mask, Ritual
Other Name:
Mask, Dance
Place of Origin:
Lega, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 12"
W = 9"
D = 5"

Added 4/28/2016: Probably a Bwami mask and may have had a beard attached at one point in time. Bwami masks are symbols of the owner's rank within the Bwami society. The objects represent moral or social values, and are used during initiation rites. Their works of art are often associated with proverbs, and these proverbs in conjuction with dance, poetry, and song give wisdom to members of the society. The masks are fairly standardized, although the most important masks with special ritual use or symbolic meaning may have distinctive design. A typical mask will have a concave heart—shaped face. The forehead protrudes slightly, the nose is narrow, eyes are slits, and the mouth is slightly open. Every time a mask is used it is rubbed with white clay, over time acquiring the tan patina.
Dark brown dance mask with buff—colored, round heart—shaped face, oval—shaped pierced eyes. Sawtooth designed on bridge of wedge—shaped nose, oval—shaped pierced mouth.
Finley Collection
Wood W/Paint
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
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Front ViewFront View
Right Side ViewRight Side View
Left Side ViewLeft Side View
Rear ViewRear View