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Tribal art > African mask > Songye mask

Songye mask (N° 23018)

The asymmetry of long split eyelids delimiting the oblique plane of the face gives a fascinating character to this Songye mask. The lines in relief are concentrated under a high crest, the upper volume of the mask being privileged. Abraded matte patina, irregular surface and desication cracks.
Height on base: 57 cm. Three types of Kifwebe masks are listed: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest or even absent crest, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to which they are related through common ancestors. Also used by the Luba, worn with a long costume and a long beard made of natural fibers, the Kifwebe masks acted as secret police in favor of power, so as to control individuals through magic. They appeared in in addition to crucial stages of initiation ceremonies.  

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This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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OriginEx-collection française
Material(s)wood, fibres de raphia
Height cm36
Depth30 cm
Width21 cm
Weight5.10 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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