Ikhokho Pendant Pende Mask ( also named Gikhokho)
H= 5,5 cm. 11 cm on the custom made metal and wood base.
The Central Pende from the Democratic Republic of the Congo replicate masks in miniature form.
Wooden versions produced by healing specialists are prescribed by diviners as remedies.
In contrast, their ivory counterparts, ikhokho, are made by professional sculptors to be worn as decorative pendants to protect.
While its texture and resistance to cracking make elephant ivory the material of choice, the thighbones of hippopotamuses allow artists to achieve comparable effects.
Bodily contact through wear alters the whiteness of the pendants. Although this effect is prized by Western collectors, the Pende themselves scrub the ornament’s surface daily with water and abrasive sand in order to maintained its original color, process which blurs the features over time.
Date: first half XXth century before 1947.
Provenance: I bought it from a Belgian colonial who was in Congo during the second world war.
Culture: Pende peoples