The Collection at the BMA

Medium: wood, pigment

Deformity Mask (Mbangu)

  • Pende people, Democratic Republic of the Congo, African
  • wood, pigment


  • Ndaka people, Democratic Republic of the Congo, African
  • wood, pigment
Helmet mask composed of long plank, heavy, hemispherical brow ridge, and tall, vertical, jointed horns. Small square eyes just below brow ridge on either side of the nose are pierced through the plank. Plank divided vertically by raised ridge extending from nose to raised umbilicus, located in bottom third of mask. No mouth is evident. Mask bears traces of symmetrical geometric patterns in red, black and white pigments.
A sacred mask owned and worn solely by blacksmiths among the Bobo people; associated with the cult of Dwo.

Helmet Mask (molo)

  • Bobo people, Burkina Faso (northern Bobo region of Tanguna), African
  • wood, pigment
Helmet mask with glossy, black surface; coiffure of fine plaits close to the skull leading to thick braid rising from top of head. Prominent, domed forehead, slitted "cowrie shell" shaped eyes, small mouth, nose, and ears; three vertical scarification marks on each cheek. Two bulging rings around neck; base of mask pierced with multiple holes for attachment of fiber costume.
Function: Worn by women of the Sande Society during initiation of girls into the society, and on other occasions; morphology of the mask reflects Mende ideals of feminine beauty and power.

Helmet Mask (sowo)

  • Mende people, Sande Women's Society, Sierra Leone, African
  • wood, pigment


Staff (Oshe Shango)

Mask (tankagle)

Rhythm Pounder (deble)

Double trinket box with lid. Sections the sides made of one piece of wood. The corners are red. The bottom dimensions listed above. A rare form. The Terr. Museum has a larger box like this.

Double Box with Cover


  • Lega people, Democratic Republic of the Congo, African
  • wood, pigment