Tribal art > African mask > Songye Mask
Songye Kifwebe Ndoshi mask and costume (N° 19953)
This large African Songye mask, the kikashi, embodies a positive force. The half-closed palpebral slits are stretched toward the temples, the nose and mouth protruding rectangularly. The naso-frontal crest blends harmoniously with the forehead. Large circular bands are engraved on the surface. Chipped matte patina. Equipped with its raffia suit ( 100 cm) embroidered with seeds, extended on the back with a bunch of feathers.
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Three variants of this mask Kifwebe ( pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death"(Roberts),from the society of the same name, are distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, seems to come from the border area between the Northern Luba and the Songye of the Southeast. They are worn by a dancer Kifwebe in a state of "bwadi" trances , accessorized with a long woven costume and a long natural fiber ornament attached to the mask's contours, during major ceremonies.
The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River in the middle of the savannah and forests. They are governed by the yakitengé and by local chiefs. The Bwami secret society, however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed during punitive and disciplinary expeditions.
This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, plant fibre, seedset plumes|
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