Mask (kidumu)

20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Republic of the Congo; Democratic Republic of Congo


Overall: 35 x 33 x 7 cm (13 3/4 x 13 x 2 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, woven raffia cloth, feathers, raffia, pigment

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



Part of a mask costume, these headpieces appeared in masquerades linked with a nature spirit called Nkita. Young male members of an association entered the village from the wilderness and executed vigorous, cartwheeling dances. When the Teke converted to Christianity, the masquerades ceased. But in the 1960s carvers began to produce these masks again for export and cultural events. This work belongs to the revival period.


Sold by the Galerie Burgui, Paris, 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