PWOOM I TOK MASK
The masks of the ancient central Congo kingdom of Bakuba are among the most imaginative and colourful in all Africa. Although some Bakuba masks are supposed to act as law enforcers, the majority reflect the demands of popular art. The vivid geometric patterns of this mask are reminiscent of those of musese , the beautiful Bakuba cloth which is woven and layer-cut in the manner of plush velvet. To enable the wearer to see, the protruding eyes are pierced around the perimeter in imitation of the eyes of a chameleon. They would have been used in dances at funerals, initiations and entertainment festivals.