This bone pendant is a miniature version of a type of mask used in initiation retreats. These pendants were most often made of ivory, but also bone, wood and palm nut. Today they are also made of aluminum. Worn around the neck, they function as protective and healing devices.
Bone pendant maskette on necklace of red and blue glass beads. Pendant has triangular shaped face, conical hairstyle, continuous brow and closed semi-circular eyes.
Eliot Elisofon, collected Gungu area, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1951 to 1973
Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 21, 2013-December 14, 2014
Art and History Gallery at the Corning Museum, Corning, NY, April 7, 1995-November 22, 1998