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Web of Art 17: Transformations, Masks and Shamans

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Medicine mask.
19th-20th c African (Central) Pende Sculpture

PENDE Anonymous (active 17th c - Present) Primary
c. 1850-1950
19th-20th c
Republic of the Congo.
Los Altos. Cohen Collection.
The spells cast by witch doctors could bring about sickness or even death. This Pende medicine mask shows half the face white and half black, white representing death and black representing life. Here the two forces contend together, and the traditional healer would play an important role in allowing the healthy black half to gain the upper hand.

Caption: PENDE | Medicine mask. | c. 1850-1950 | Central African | Pende
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