Mask: Kidumu. Republic of Congo; Teke peoples, Tsaayi group, 19th century. Wood, paint; H. 13 3/8 in. (34 cm) Provenance: André Derain, Paris, before 1930; [Charles Ratton, Paris, late 1930s]; Josef Mueller, before 1939
Image courtesy Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA (#X2007.21.63). A very rare idumu mask without eyes.It has been suggested that Bwami members attached cowrie shells to serve as eyes, but this seems unlikely since the kaolin on these examples is even, ...the masks illustrate the saying “Big-One of the men’s house, the guardian, has no eyes” ,Although this important high-level Bwami member does not see with his eyes, he sees with his heart and guards the affairs of the community.