The Pende pushed north by the Lunda, during the 17th, settled in an area located between Loango and Kasai regions. Two hundred years later Tchokwe invaded the territories for when they migrated north from Angola, but were forced to return the territories annexed by the Belgian colonizers. The 500000 Pende mainly farmers are not governed by a central authority but by the heads of households, known as the Djogo, sometimes aided by the noble nobles. Young men are organized by age group, and must pass through various initiatives including that of circumcision during adolescence.
Art Pende can be divided into two traditions, arts, the first comes from Western Pende who live along the river Lodango, the second focuses on the eastern Pende along the Kasai River.
The Western Pende have used a dozen different types of masks during their ceremony, they have eyes looking down a triangular nose, and sometimes leaving a protruding mouth see the teeth.
Often found three types of masks in Western collections. The first long-beard is called Kiwoyo Muyombo. The second known Mangu, show the features distorted, probably evoking the effects of an epileptic seizure. The third mask Phumbu chief called, has a hair divided into three parts.
Masks and helmets masks, associated with Pende, Oriental Minyangi are called respectively, and Giphogo. Worn by dancers during initiation ceremonies, they have elongated pointed chin eyes framed by a geometric decoration incised and colored pigments red, black and white. The large mask Yombe Panya, and the elongated mask are worn during dances or to decorate the houses.
The statues of Western Pende could represent ancestors are rare but of Eastern Pende probably used as a fetish are even more, they have elongated features and accessories such as a horn inserted at the top of their heads. Statues of roofs and panels decorated with incised motifs were for houses of chiefs. These statues made of wood often show slight maternity.