Project Description

Helmet Mask, 19th century;
Bayaka, Democratic Republic of Congo
Gift of Dr. Pascal James Imperato, 1980

This mask was used by a boy after his bush school training had ended with his initiation into manhood...The initiate and his age-set companions from nearby villages would wear the masks when they went from community to community dancing in celebration of their newly acquired manhood...At each performance, the best dancers and carvers would be rewarded with money and gifts.