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Tribal art > African mask > Songye Mask

Kifwebe Songye Mask (N° 17402)

African art among the Songyes.
Named Kifwebe or 'wood mask', (plural Bifwebe), the same type of which was produced by both the Luba and the Songye, this tribal mask imposes by its masterful dimensions. The term Kifwebe refers to the mask, the society of masks, and the wearer of the mask belonging to the secret male society bwadi bwa kifwebe . There are three variants: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This mask comes from a three-generational Belgian collection, acquired in various international galleries and during the professional travels of G. Mercier, consultant for the Solvay group, who died in the 1980s. Exceptional patina, internal traces of use.
br-African masks have holes on their outline so that they can attach a costume for the most important ceremonies, including a voluminous beard made of natural fibres. The white streaks would symbolize plumage and the connection with death. In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors. The Songyes have created impressive statues with powerful features are often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories such as feathers, skin and a horn full of magical charge. Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that afflicted individuals. The masked performance of the male masks provided an opportunity to carry out punitive expeditions and maintain social order. The female masks, supposed to be endowed with divinatory faculties, activated by their dances the benevolent spirits.  

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Originex-collection Mercier
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight2.40 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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