Masks by ethnic group Lwalwa are stylized, using simple geometric forms to represent the features of the face. The nose is a long flat triangle, while a stylized mouth projects from above a pointed chin.
Lwalwa masks are carved from a wood called ‘mulela’ and colored with a dye from the fruit of the ‘mukula’ tree, also called the ‘bloodwood’ or ‘sealing wax’ tree. Lwalwa sculptors are privileged members of the tribe and their skills are often passed down from father to son. The Lwalwa are famous for their dancing; masks play an important part during celebrations, particularly during the secret rituals of the ‘bangongo’ society, which was responsible for the initiation of young men into adulthood.