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Songye Kifwebe Kilume mask (N° 19992)

Incised with striations that emphasize the arc of the eyelids and then extend horizontally across the temples, this mask is also engraved with broken lines on the lower 2/3. A wide black band runs from the mouth to the neck, responding to the dark-tinted organs and reinforcing the visual aspect of the latter.
Velvety smooth patina, abraded on protrusions. Desiccation cracks.  Three types of African Kifwebe masks are listed: the male (kilume) generally with a high crest, the female (kikashi) would present a more modest crest or even absent, and finally the largest incarnating power (kia ndoshi). 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 manner. 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 often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories such as feathers, skin and a horn full of magic charge. Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of misfortunes that struck individuals. Also used by the Luba, worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers, the Kifwebe masks acted as a secret police force for power, so as to control individuals through magic.
They also appeared during crucial stages of initiation ceremonies.
 

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OriginCollection P. Malisse
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height58
Width23
Weight1.75 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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