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Arts of Africa

Although little information exists concerning the masking traditions of the many ethnic groups of the Ubangi region in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, masks were likely used during the activities which surrounded boys' initiations and circumcisions. Masks from the region can be identified by their characteristics scarification marks: rows of bumps or incisions running across the forehead and down the bridge of the nose, sometimes extending to the chin.

DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 13 x 9 7/8 x 5 3/4 in. (33 x 25.1 x 14.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Flat, ovoid mask with ears partly in relief, open eye sockets and mouth. Scarification marks in three rows across forehead, down center of nose, chin, and temples. Nostrils indicated, punctuated under lower lip. Perforations at eyes and mouth. Teeth represented. Black patination. Condition: Worm-eaten; edges broken, crack along right side of face-repaired.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Ngbaka. Mask, 19th century. Wood, 13 x 9 7/8 x 5 3/4 in. (33 x 25.1 x 14.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1585. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.1585_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 22.1585_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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