X2002.33.15 Mask

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Sachihongo (royal male)
Mbunda peoples
Late 19th-20th century
H: 33.0 cm, W: 28.5 cm, D: 10.2 cm (H: 12.9 in, W: 11.2 in, D: 4.0 in)
Museum purchase with funds provided by Jay T. Last. X2002.33.15


A split down the left side of this Sachihongo mask was repaired by making numerous small holes on either side of the break and tightly lacing the two parts together with cane. Wooden masks are normally commissioned from professional carvers and are thus valuable. They are used in ceremonies and then carefully stored for future events. After each performance, masks are carefully inspected, cleaned, and, if necessary, repaired. A repair is not seen as a defect but rather as a testament to the care given to an ancestral representation, the length of its performance history, and its proper handling.