Our page banner is a detail of a Bamileke 'king mask' from the Master of Bamendjou in Cameroon.
Photo: (Creative Commons) © Andreas Praefcke
Goma masks are characterized by their domed heads, elongated forms, large concave eyes that are highlighted by a change of color, protruding mouths and abstract geometric designs carved on the face and forehead.
The triangular checkerboard design in this mask is typical of their surface decoration.
The Goma people come from around the northern shores of Lake Kivu, just north of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The region is part of the Great Rift Valley which experiences earthquakes and eruptions of the Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira volcanoes.
Goma is a the capital city of the North Kivu province, one kilometer from the Rwandan Border