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Kifwebe A century of songye and luba masks (N° 19502)

The kifwebe mask is a ceremonial object of the Songye and Luba societies (Democratic Republic of Congo), where it is worn with a long costume and a long beard made of vegetable fiber. As in other Central African cultures, the same mask can be used in magical-religious or festive celebrations. To understand the kifwebe masks, one must relate them to the cosmogony of the rainbow python, the work of the forge and other plant and animal signs.
Among the Songye, the benevolent female masks reveal what is hidden and balance the white and red energies related to two successive initiations, the bukishi. Aggressive male masks were originally concerned with the control of society and acted as a police force following instructions given by village elders. These two male and female forces reinforced the harmony of the village in a balanced way. Among the Luba, the masked characters, equally benevolent, come out in the neomnities and promote fertility.
Even if the male and female masks have functions that are not totally superimposable, they have the following elements in common: the frontal crest, the excessively advanced bulging eyes, the large nasal openings, the cubic shape of the mouth, the striations and colors. In recent years, Kifwebe masks have attracted more attention from art historians and anthropologists. This book opens a new path through the Songye and Luba countries, based on the study of Woods Davy's collection.

Author: François Neyt
Editions: Five Continents
Status: NEW
Language: French
Number of pages: 368
Dimensions: 250 x 310 mm
ISBN : 978-8874398638


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Weight2.92 Kg

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