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Face of the Spirits: Masks from the Zaire Basin Hardcover – February, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Martial & Snoeck; First Edition edition (February 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9053490671
  • ISBN-13: 978-9053490679
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.3 x 12.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,452,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Hardcover, Cloth Boards with Photographic DJ, 13" x 9", 262 Pages, 113 Catalogue items in color (Full Page), 42 Field Photos, 7 Maps, 1 chart, large detached fold-out map. bibliography. Editors : Frank Herreman & Constantin Petredis. Photographs : Dick Beauliuex. Contributions by : Joseph Cornet, Marc Felix, Francois Neyt and others. Published by Marshall & Snoeck, 1993.

Beautifully presented large format book on the masks of the Zaire, known since 1997 as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Chapters include Masks among The Kongo Peoples, Nkanu & Mbeeko Masks, Masks Of Yaka and Suku, Pende Masks, Akishi Chokwe Spirits, Copper Masks from Upper Kasai, Kuba Masks, Kifwebe Masks, Masks of Luba, hemba, and Tabwa, Lega Masks, Zoomorphic Masks of Zaire, and Masks of Northern Zaire. Wonderful (black background) photographs of some impressive masks. IMHO, the book just misses out on 5-Stars for one too many average masks, but that's a very subjective call, and if you say the book is worth five-stars, I won't argue with you.

Still available (used) from Amazon at under forty bucks as of late 2014 - What are you waiting for ?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
African masks are the dynamic incarnations of OMNIPRESENT SPIRITS, and intervene in individual and community life. "Masking" was dictated and created from a belief in the supernatural. Perhaps, the most dramatic manner whereby contact between humans and supernatural forces acquire a visible presence occurs under the form of masks.

Through-out the majority of the world, the original function of masquerades or "masking" has declined, having evolved into nothing more than profane recreation. In West and Central Africa, the function of masks have remained much closer to their original significance. Masks still manifest at crucial moments during the cycle of seasons, and during the course of an individual's life cycle. The incarnation of supernatural beings have no essential requirement for the artistic... Only effectiveness is intended, so the term "art-work" is deliberately shunned and ignored. Masks are carved to principly satisfy the given requirement.

Page 142 provides illuminating and motivating text related to masks attributed to the neighbors and brethren of the Kuba kingdom along the northern frontier... The Dengese peoples. Prior to this, I was clearly under the notion and belief (as many scholarly enthusiasts) that the Dengese did not mask or use masquerades. For several years, I committed a great deal of my research towards an old, well carved, odd mask / sculpture. During my research, I called on a well-versed individual that resided for 30+ years the DRC. He explained that he had never seen a Dengese mask before, but was certain the head and headdress are classic N'Dengese (with Kuba "Bushoong" and "Bashilele" styles). The item in question also includes a symbolic sculpted foot known in the Kasai regions.
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