Mukyeem/Moshambooy Mask - Kuba People, D.R. Congo
Mukyeem/Moshambooy Mask - Kuba People, D.R. Congo
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Mukyeem/Moshambooy Mask - Kuba People, D.R. Congo

$85.00
The moshambwooy and the mukyeem masks are similarly constructed except that moshambwooy masks lack the frontal projection of the mukyeem masks. The mukyeem is characterized by a long cylindrical frontal projection like an elephant trunk which is a royal emblem. The legend began when a water-spirit, called moshambwooy once terrorized the Kuba and was responsible for terrible illnesses, including blindness. A man encountered it in the bush one day but he was unable to describe it to the king, who requested that the man withdraw to his quarters to fashion a costume of fibers and bark cloth in the image of the spirit. Upon seeing the costume, the king seized it and disappeared, reappearing disguised, inspiring fear in his subjects, who recounted this strange apparition to him when he returned. The king then explained that the spirit moshambwooy had come to check on each person's behavior, in order to determine whom he should punish. The mask became an instrument of royal power, and ever since that day the chiefs have always presented themselves to their people in the costume of moshambwooy. Rule by fear!

Height: 19" x Width: 12" x Depth: 9"

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