A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
The major reason for mask making among the Salampasu was the Mungongo (Warrior)
Society, a male-only organization. Members rose through the ranks of the
Mungongo by purchasing a series of masks that were ranked in a hierarchy of
importance. Earning the right to acquire and wear a mask involved performing
specific deeds (not recorded) plus large payments of livestock, drink, and other
material goods to the members of the society. Possessing many masks indicated
wealth and knowledge (since a new owner purchased the esoteric knowledge
associated with a particular mask).
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