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The Kuba Kingdom: Ngaady aMwaash Mask

African Kuba Masks Ngaady a Mwaash
The Ngaady aMwaash mask, one of the three royal masks, is an integral piece of African culture, with a beautiful geometric design typical of Kuba masks in present-day Democratic Republic of Congo. The mouth of the mask is covered with beadwork, symbolizing the calm and composed nature of women. The red color of the mask represents the pain and bloodshed of childbirth and menses, while the tears are represented by the striated lines extending from the eyes down to the cheeks. The black triangles signify the king's home hearth and domesticity, while the white represents women's mourning, and the blue color represents Ngaady aMwaash's royal status.
African Mask Ngaady aMwaash    Ngaady aMwaash Mask Kuba
According to myth, Ngaady aMwaash has two brothers who perform a mock battle to win her affections. The Mwash aMbooy mask represents the Kuba king, while the Bwoom mask represents her half-brother/foreigner. The African Collection in the museum has masks of all three, which offer a poignant manifestation of the importance of women and gender balance in Kuba political systems and daily life. The masks are a testament to the Kuba people's rich cultural heritage and their appreciation for the role of women in society. This colorful trio of characters comprises the recognized pantheon of royal helmet masks, which are eagerly sought after by collectors and museums.

Ngaady a Mwaash Mask


Bwoom Mask


Moshambwooy Mask


Shop our collection of stunning Kuba masks here