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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.
MEDIUM Wood, shell, cloth, raffia, pigment
DATES late 19th century
DIMENSIONS 15 3/8 x 11 1/4 x 11 3/4 in. (39.1 x 28.6 x 29.8 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 22.230
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION 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
IMAGE overall, 22.230_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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