Pende (Bapende), Congo. Wood. Pigment. Height 13"
This appears to be a most intriguing mask of blackened wood and a zoomorphic superstructure. The lip of this mask also hints at a birdlike element, though in a stylized way. It displays an oily crust like shine, probably from vegetal pigments and ceremonial offerings that could have been applied.
It also showcases a fierce piercing set of eyes and a long row of teeth, just below the lower lip line (probably emulating a crocodile's). There seems to be a whole lot of magic going on with this mask!
A mask such as this would have been assigned multi tasks, such as preparation for battles, and celebration afterwards, initiations or funerals for important personages.