Royal mask, Ngady aMwaash



This beautifully painted and ornamented mask represents Ngady aMwaash aMbooy, the female ancestor whose incestuous marriage to her brother Woot gave rise to human beings in Kuba mythology. Masks of this type perform at funerals and initiation rites held under royal patronage and link royal authority with ancestral origins. This mask was probably made for sale, because the Kuba king’s own masks would have been kept under guard in the royal palace.