Sala Mpasu peoples
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Democratic Republic of the Congo


Overall (without beard): 40 x 22 x 32 cm (15 3/4 x 8 11/16 x 12 5/8 in.) Overall (with beard): 76 x 22 x 32 cm (29 15/16 x 8 11/16 x 12 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Raffia fiber, pigment

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



This mask was connected with warrior associations that would ward off intruders. Masking and the warrior associations were discontinued among the Sala Mpasu after Congo’s independence in 1961, when an iconoclast movement took hold and people deliberately abandoned their old ways to move into modern times


1970s, sold by an unidentified African merchant in Cambridge, MA, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart