Mask (Pwoom Itok)
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
This mask may have represented a wise older man at boys’ initiations. One of the principal Kuba dance masks is called pwoom itok. The chief identifying characteristic is the shape of the eyes, whose centers are cones surrounded by holes through which the wearer sees. Like many Kuba types of masks, pwoom itok is extensively polychromed, or multicolored. This example has a cane headdress covered with raffia cloth with painted designs and detached wooden ears. The top of the headdress was probably originally adorned with feathers, like those worn by high-ranking persons.
Wood, shell, cloth, raffia, pigment
late 19th century
15 3/8 x 11 1/4 x 11 3/4 in. (39.1 x 28.6 x 29.8 cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
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or Ngeende. Mask (Pwoom Itok), late 19th century. Wood, shell, cloth, raffia, pigment, 15 3/8 x 11 1/4 x 11 3/4 in. (39.1 x 28.6 x 29.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.230. Creative Commons-BY
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Dance mask with polychrome geometric facial decoration. Round recessed eyes with cone shaped centers surrounded by holes for seeing out by wearer. Headdress covered by raffia cloth with painted designs. Attached wooden ears. The fragile raffia material has been stabilized. The mask's wood is in fair condition. Surfaces are abraded throughout.
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