An outstanding zoomorphic mask attributed to the Ngbandi athough it comes from an area where a number of different groups live within close proximity of the Ubangi-Lualaba Rivers.
The Ngbandi near the Ubangi-Lualaba Rivers is where culture, language, political and religious structures are shared which influences their arts.The ridge of scarification on the nose is a significant trait in the identification of the masks from this region.
The Ngbandi as well as the Ngbaka live in an area bounded by the Ubangi and Lualaba River systems with the Ngombe scattered along the Lualaba River. The Ngbaka moved into the area inhabited by the Ngbandi and as a result both groups share sculptural forms and the details of hand scarification that often leads to some confusion as to the attribution of their masks.
Though both groups use masks they are less numerous among the Ngbandi than among the Ngbaka where masks are known as Dagara and are used during initiation ceremonies known as Ganza or Gaza for young men and when boys are circumcised.
The masks of the Ngombe are less finished or detailed and were used during initiation ceremonies known as ‘Mani’. These masks are known by the heavy over reaching from the hairline across the forehead ending more than half-way down the nose.
Recommended Reading: Kerchache’s ART OF AFRICA