Featured Object: Salampasu Mask overview image

Featured Object: Salampasu Mask

  • Post Date5/17/2013
  • AuthorKasia Balutowski
  • Reading Time1 minute read

This Sala Mpasu or Salampasu mask is known as a kasangu mask, which is loosely translated as "warrior mask." The mask is made of wood and covered in copper, which is an important symbol of wealth and method of intimidating enemies.

  • closeup of top of mask, with many small balls woven from a brown fiber

The Sala Mpasu People

The Sala Mpasu people live within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and were known as a tribe who long resisted colonization. Their Warrior Society had a specific position among the Sala Mpasu people: encourage peace among villages, train young members to be warriors, and monitor events for unnecessary violence. There is a large emphasis within the Sala Mpasu tradition on the ability to purchase material goods, and an initiate was required to purchase the Kasangu Mask on his own in order to demonstrate his economic status. The more masks a warrior owned, the greater his power became, which is equivalent to increased knowledge and control over destiny.

  • full brown colored sharp-toothed mask with woven balls on head and fibrous neck portion