hemba helmet mask
material: wood, fiber, pigment
size: 13" mask / 21" with raffia
vendor: hamill gallery
Worn during male initiation ceremonies, these mask represented all departed ancestors. Mourning songs were sung during the ritual; the vertical lines on the face are tears. Neighbors of the Yaka, Suku masks are more conservative in their facial treatments. Although styles vary, there is usually a massive collar of raffia and often a figure or animal on the top of the mask. All come with black metal stands.