Masque Pendé - Congo
This Fumu Pende mask is the representation of the Chief and evokes the stature of leader. This powerful mask closes the dances of the Pende masks.
It faces combines masculine sharp features and serene feminine characteristics.
The proeminent forehead is separated from the lower part of the face by a large continuous blackened brow arch. The joined eyebrows are lowering on the nose bridge. Two elongated almond-shape half closed eyes appear on the each side of the slightly pointed nose. The prominent upper eyelids are in triangle shape symbolizes the open eyes that can impose its will and is a sign of strength. The high cheekbones are adorned with carved scarifications coloured with white kaolin.
The horizontal mouth with thin lips is half opened and shows pointed teeth. They represent the practice of chipping and filling the teeth, an artificial deformation to enhance the beauty of the owner.
The headdress develops in three horns, characteristic of the ethnic group.
The Fumu mask was worn with a costume that would entirely cover the dancer. It dances is dynamic but worn by a relatively old dancer. The dance is thus punctuated with stops and chanted by the audience that encourages it to continues.
The sharp detailed sculpture of the face gives the mask an aggressive and powerful expression punctuated by the quiet and moderate feminine side. It thus represents the perfect balance that a chief must acquire.