Congo Democratic Republic 10 Centimes banknote 1997

Congo Democratic Republic 10 Centimes banknote 1997 Pende mask
Congo Democratic Republic 10 Centimes banknote 1997 Pende masked dancers

Congo Democratic Republic 10 Centimes banknote 1997
Central Bank of the Congo - Banque Centrale du Congo

Obverse: Pende mask at left. Centered is the monogram of the Bank of Democratic Republic of the Congo. Denominations in numerals are in three corners. In words on the left side. Signature: Masangu Mulongo (Gouverneur);
Reverse: Pende masked dancers at center right. Denominations in numerals are in three corners.
Watermark: Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically.
Main color: Red-violet and dark brown on multicolored underprint.
Printer: AB Tumba Bruk (ATB)., (Tumba Bruk is the printing company responsible for manufacturing of the Swedish krona banknotes).
Date of Issue: 1 November 1997.
Size: 121 x 70 mm.
Texts: Banque Centrale du Congo; Dix Centimes; Kumi Centimes.

Congo Democratic Republic Banknotes and Paper Money
1997-2013 Issue

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Pende people
The Pende or Phende (ethnonym: Bapende or Baphende; singular Mupende or Muphende) are an ethnic group found in the south-western Democratic Republic of the Congo also in the Kasai Occidental province around the diamond mines of Tshikapa, and especially in the Kwilu District. Their population is estimated to be around 250,000.
  The Pende or Phende language is one of the Bantu languages. Phende are culturally close to the Yaka and Suku people that live in neighboring areas.
  Much like the Yake and Suku, Phende are originally from the strip between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cuanza River, in Angola. They relocated to Congo in the beginning of the 17th century, as a consequence of the Lunda's expansion. Around 1885 they were menaced again by the expansion of the Chokwe people.
  The Pende are known for their xylophone-based music, and their dances. Dancers traditionally wear colorful masks and Mungandji costumes made of raffia, as well as hairdresses that resemble the shapes of Phende huts. Traditional dance ceremonies are often held in Kikwit, the largest city of the Kwilu province. Pende sculptors are also well known for their ability to give a fluid surface to their ivory pendants (badges) portraying human faces.
  Leon de Sousberghe, a Belgian ethnologist and Jesuit, is the greatest specialist of phende culture.

Pende Art and Masks
  The Pende people live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. They number around a quarter of a million in population, and survive mainly as farmers of millet, corn, peanuts and plantains. They supplement their agricultural pursuits with occasional hunting and fishing. They are comprised of two groups, the Eastern Pende and the Western Pende, and share significant cultural ties with their neighbors, the Suku and the Yaka.
  Perhaps the most famous African mask from the Pende is the Mbangu mask, or sickness mask, which represents the lifelong struggle between illness and health, played out on the face of a strong, virile hunter. Its opposing white and dark sides represent the battle between good and evil spirits which cause sickness. The badly distorted mouth and nose attest to the suffering of the afflicted, and his identity as a hunter reminds us that even the strongest, most respected among us may be stricken suddenly by disease. The Mbangu mask is used in rituals to heal the sick and, because sickness is thought to be brought on by misbehavior which displeases deceased ancestors, to teach morality lessons. We features several Mbangu masks.
  While most African masks represent idealized types, revered animals or spirits, or emphasize grossly exaggerated features to frighten away mischievous spirits, the Pende are unique among African tribes in their willingness to address human sickness in art. Other Pende masks touching upon this theme feature the pock-marked faces of smallpox or chicken pox sufferers.
  Pende masks are typically made of wood, with headdresses or beards of raffia fiber. Their eyes usually seem closed, or downward-looking, and the colors favored are black, white, red or ochre. Cowrie shells, beads, and long beards carved of wood are also often present in these African masks from the Pende. They are danced in ceremonies celebrating crop plantings, initiations, circumcisions and appeasement of malevolent spirits.