Title: Passport Mask
Material: Wood and Natural Pigment
Country: D.R. Congo
Description: These small masks are sometimes called "Passport" masks
due to their use as identification. They are often sewn
onto a piece of cloth and carried on the person in a pouch.
They are miniature copies of family masks and enable the
carrier to retain contact with the spirit embodied in the
parent mask. The masks are used to invoke benevolent
spirits during secret society meetings. They also demand
offerings from initiates during initiation ceremonies such
as libations. In addition to warding off evil, the minature
masks also serve as witnesses during initiation ceremonies.
Dimensions: 7" high by 4"wide by 3" deep
11.5" high on custom-made stand which is included with piece
Provenance: Ex Private Collection. Collected about 50 years ago by a Belgian living in the D.R. Congo.