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Tribal art > African mask > Songye Mask

Songye Kifwebe Mask (N° 19585)

The surface of this African mask features wide bands of contrasting colors. The bridge of the nose extends towards the head of a sagittal ridge. Like a beak, the parallelepiped mouth protrudes. Height on base: 63 cm.
 Three types of Kifwebe African art masks are listed: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high peak, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest peak or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. 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 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 wizards and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals. Kifwebe masks were also used by the Luba, worn with a long costume and a long beard made of natural fibers, and acted as a secret police force for power, in order to control individuals through magic. They also appeared during crucial stages of initiation ceremonies.  

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Originex-collection Timmerman
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height44
Depth20
Width19
Weight0.55 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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