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Mask (mbuya)

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This mask of the mbuya type belongs in the context of Pende men's fraternities that performed masquerades for the entire community. Although the costume is missing, this work can be identified by its horned coiffure with receding hairline. It represents pumbu, the "executioner," a man who killed...

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1970s, sold by an unidentified African merchant in Cambridge, MA, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart

African, Pende peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 20th century, 1950–2000

Object Place

Democratic Republic of the Congo


Overall: 33 x 23 x 21 cm (13 x 9 1/16 x 8 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment, cloth, raffia


Africa and Oceania