A mid 20th Century Kuba Mukenga Kingdom mask


United Kingdom

DC Member since 2021
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A mid 20th Century Kuba Mukenga Kingdom mask

An exceptional Kuba Mukenga Mask from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Given to a British Consulate official, by a tribal chief, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1964. Beautifully decorated with shells and geometric patterns.

The Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo have several masks associated with royalty. The Mukenga mask is associated with the highest status through its invocation of the most powerful forest animals, the leopard and the elephant (note its trunk-like crest). Cowrie shells and glass beads were valuable trade goods, and their use denotes wealth and status.

Bernard Alfred Attwood MBE, who was serving as a British Diplomat in the British Consulate in Lubumbashi (formerly Elizabethville) in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1964 and 1968. Mr Attwood featured in the Queens honours list in 1969 and was given Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the queen that year.



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