Ngeende – (African Tribe)

Ngeende – (African Tribe) The Ngeende are said to be descendents of Woot, through one of his nine sons, Ishweemy. The Ngeende came from North of the Sankuru river, were conquered by the second Bushoong king, Mbong a Leen, and by 1500 were part of the Kuba kingdom. The Ngeende, along with all of the Kube tribes, are subject to the Bushoong, from whom the Kuba kings are descended. Before 1905, every Ngeende village had a chief, who reported to a noble representative at the Bushoong court. In modern times, however, there are only five Ngeende chiefs. The chiefs have some power over the use of the land, but all political decisions are made by the Bushoong court. The Ngeende are almost as prolific as the Bushoong, and many carvings attributed to the Bushoong have actually been carved by the Ngeende. Masks play an important role in retelling the story of the ancestor, Woot. The Ngeende have nine major masks that form part of the story. Among these the following are most important. Bongo, a variation of the Bushoong Mboom, represents the spirits of the pygmies. Mukenge, a variation of the Bushoong Moshambwooy mask , is the symbol of Woot, the founding ancestor of the tribe. It has a large, trunk-like protrusion ending in a bunch of feathers, and is decorated with beads and shells. A similar mask, shala-mashompoji, that does not have the protrusion, is used in the burial ceremonies of notables and chiefs. The fourth mask, ishendemala, is used as part of the initiation ceremony. When this mask includes horns it is known as ishende-mala-dia-masheke. Many of the objects found among other tribes of the Kuba kingdom are present, often represented in a more stylised, less decorative style.

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