Salampasu Kasangu Mask
The Kasangu mask was the first mask someone who was joining a warrior society could gain the right to purchase.
Approx Age: 1950-60
Dimensions cm: 31 x 19
Ref. Number: 1822
A Salampasu Kasangu mask with plenty of character, a more uncommon mask shown here with the dividing colours of black and red, small repairs to one eyelid and a small crack has been sewn with a natural binding. Two protruding nodules on either side of the mask, upturned ‘pig-like’ nose and jagged teeth.
Provenance: Ex- Arjan Bogaert, Belgium.
The Mugongo society of warriors is responsible for the protection of Salampasu communities; society members protect against invasion from rival clans or other external forces. To become a member of Mugongo, Salampasu boys must be circumcised and pass through its various initiation sub-societies, the highest of which is the society called Matambu (within which the highest initiate level is called the Mukish).
Each initiation sub-society has an associated mask type which the boys gain access to upon completing the initiation level and paying an initiation fee. Associated with the Ibuku initiation level, kasangu masks are only available to warriors that have killed and decapitated an enemy in battle.
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