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.
Ituri Dance Mask
Object Name:
Mask, Dance, Ituri
Other Name:
Mask, Face, Ituri Forest
Place of Origin:
Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 15"
W = 9"
D = 4"

For the Mbuti people of the Ituri forest of northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a nomadic hunter—gatherer society, the forest is sacred. It is the source of their existence – their god, parent and sanctuary. The Mbuti are bamiki bandura, “children of the forest”, enveloped from birth in a rich symbolic tradition that stresses the supreme value of ndura, or “forestness”. Mbuti speak and sing reverently and lightheartedly about, and to, the forest. They sing “leaf—carrying” and “honey—bee” songs. The most valued are songs without words, sung to awaken the forest and make it rejoice through the beauty of the sound alone. Dances performed for ritual purposes or for pure enjoyment include the mimetic “elephant hunt” and “honey—bee” dances, enacted to attract, and give thanks for, game and food.

Oval—shaped wooden face mask. Small circular closely placed eyes, slightly open protruding mouth. Prominent brow. Triangular—shaped slightly protruding nose. Small ears, with large slightly curved chin. Dark brown wood, possibly brown patina covering entire surface area.
Guy Mace Collection, (Turblex Company)
Wood W/Paint
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting
Art Department, MSSU
Click to Enlarge
Front ViewFront View
Frony View - 2Frony View - 2
Right Side ViewRight Side View
Left Side ViewLeft Side View
Rear ViewRear View
Front View, Close-UpFront View, Close-Up