The Kongo occupy the region at the mouth of the Congo River and are present in three countries – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and the Congo Republic. Numerous subgroups form the vast Kongo cultural complex, among which are the Vili, the Woyo and the Yombe.
This mask is closely related to the ones made by the Yombe from the Lower Zaire River, the region very important in the artistic history of Black Africa. Such masks played an integral role in the real-life drama of prosecuting antisocial acts in the communities. In this context, these masks inspired confidence in the divination specialist’s (diphomba’s) ability to dispense justice and install fear in the minds of people with guilty consciences.
This mask has characteristics typical of Yombe facial characteristics - prominent cheeks and wide open eyes as well as body decorations - filed teeth, head ornaments.