Skip Navigation

Tshimwana Mask

Arts of Africa

The Biombo have been strongly influenced politically and culturally by their neighbors to the north, the Kuba. Like Kuba masks, Biombo masks are worn at funerals and initiations. Masks in both traditions have large slit eyes and painted geometric patterns on the forehead, cheeks and chin. The muted red color seen here is more characteristic of Biombo masks, however.

MEDIUM Wood, pigment
DATES late 19th or early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 13 9/16 x 8 5/16 x 7 1/2 in. (34.4 x 21.1 x 19.1 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The object is a mask with outlined scrolls and circles on heavy forehead, protruding eyes with slit openings, a projecting circular mouth, checkerboard patterns on cheeks as well as perforations for costume attachment, and red and white pigment in mouth and eye areas.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Biombo. Tshimwana Mask, late 19th or early 20th century. Wood, pigment, 13 9/16 x 8 5/16 x 7 1/2 in. (34.4 x 21.1 x 19.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 56.6.10. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 56.6.10_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 56.6.10_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"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.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.