Original accompanying de Sousberghe caption reads, " Village Nioka. Masque Tundu." Translated original accompanying caption reads, "Dancer performing the mask Tundu at Nioka."
De Sousberghe photographed dancers performing the mask Tundu at a masquerade at "Nyoka-Mulenga" (Central Pende), which was misnamed "Nyoka-Kakese" during the early colonial period. Tundu and Kindombolo are masks that represent the same aesthetic expressed in the very different stylistic languages of the Central and Eastern Pende: the anti-aesthetic. Their grotesque form and behavior show to us how ludicrous we look when we disregard social conventions and think of ourselves. Tundu has always shown a great variety of forms and is sometimes called the "chief of the dance floor" because he is always present from the beginning to the end.
Title source: Archives staff.
Note source: Archives staff.
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.