240607 - Old African Kipoko mask from the Pende Congo.


Old Tribaal African Kipoko mask from the Pende, Congo.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood.
Height: 35 cm.
This Pende mask dates from the mid of the 20th century and was purchased in my private collection in 2021, with a certificate of authenticity.
Beautiful old African helmet mask, Kipoko (giphogo), Democratic Republic of Congo, wood, pigment, second half of the 20th century. The Pende people have many different types of masks that they wear, especially in adult initiation rituals. The giphogo (or kipoko) is such a mask. The mask is kept in the chief's house, and only chiefs may give permission to dance with this type of mask on the occasion of initiations and rituals of the Eastern Pende ancestor cult. Its uses include protection against evil spirits; prayers or thanksgiving for successful harvests and tribal fertility; to identify and punish sorcerers; and adult initiation during mukanda rituals.