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Mask and costume
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Mask and costume, result 1 of 1

Item Details
Public
Available to everyone
Culture
Ndembu
Title
Mask and costume
Work Type
masks (costume)
Date
1950s
Location
Mwinilunga, North-Western, Zambia (inhabited place)
Material
bark cloth
string
basketry (object genre)
split strips of bark
wood
fur (hair material)
pigments (probably clay)
Period
Ndembu
Measurements
The mask measures 17.8 cm from the forehead to the chin, 22.1 cm across the face at the base of the nose, and 27.9 cm across the face at the bridge of the nose. The nose is 7.6 cm long, the mouth is 6.3 cm across, the right eye is 5.1 cm across, and the left eye is 6.3 cm across. The ridge at the forehead ex­tends from the face about 1.3 cm. The hat part of the mask measures 40.4 cm from the forehead to the end of the hat at the back of the head. The bark-string neck attached to the head measures approximately 53.4 cm long. The rest of the costume is attached to three rings of wood. The first ring is 96.5 cm in circumference and the bottom-most ring is 304.8 cm in circumference. The length of the attached raffia varies.
Description
Mask and costume, probably representing a makishi. The mask is made of painted bark cloth tied on to a basketry frame with bark string. An animal skin is attached to the top of the mask, with the tail hanging down the back. The paint colors used are brown (5 YR 3/1-4/1 dark gray), white, and red (2.5 YR 4/6-5/6 red). The neck is made of woven bark-string in a crochet stitch and the rest of the costume consists of long strips of split wood or bark mounted on three wooden hoops. The face of the mask is painted brown. The eyes and mouth are painted red with a thick white circle around them. There is a red line both at the base of the nose and at its bridge. There is also a red line down the length of the nose and a white line at the bridge. The rest of the face is covered with red and white spots. The forehead, above the ridge, is decorated with a series of red-brown-white--red-brown-white lines and red and white spots. Behind this design, there is a cap of spotted animal fur over the head. Four rows of light brown crochet and four rows of darker brown crochet make up the neck. The rest of the costume consists of long strips of naturally colored split wood or bark. There are over 50 masked makishi (ancestral spirits embodied by men in masks and costumes
singular ikishi) presented by dancers in the Kwidisha part of the Mukanda ceremonies (circumcision rites). The name of this figure was not recorded.
Accession Number
Anthr1966_004_0012_01
Related Item
Victor Turner, The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual (Cornell University Press, 1967)
Condition
The animal-skin "cap" has some moth damage and fur loss
Agent2
Victor Turner
Provenance
Mukanza Village, collected during ethnographic fieldwork by Victor Turner
Archival Collection
Ndembu masks and costumes
Rights
The images in the Collection 'Selections from the Cornell Anthropology Collections' are protected by copyright, and the copyright holders are Cornell University Library and the Department of Anthropology. Physical artifacts from the Cornell Anthropology Collections were photographed by Cornell University Library in 2012-13 for inclusion in this image collection. Cornell is providing access to the materials for research and personal use. The written permission of any copyright and other rights holders is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use that extends beyond what is authorized by fair use and other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.
Cornell would like to learn more about items in this collection and to hear from individuals or institutions that have any additional information. This collection is funded by an Arts and Sciences Grant to Frederic W. Gleach, Curator of the Anthropology Collections. Please contact him for more information about this collection, or to request permission to use these images.
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License
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File Properties
File Name
3713861.fpx
SSID
3713861

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