Tribal art > African mask > Songye mask
This African mask Songye, the kikashi, offers here an almost vertical plane of the cheeks, giving a rather compact impression. The arc of the half-closed eyelids is underlined with red ochre, while areas of arcuate streaks and oblique grooves alternate on the face. The crest outlined in black is present but modest. The mouth treated in cube has an internal curve.
Damaged edges, abraded matte patina.
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 or absent crest, and finally the tallest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, seems to come from the border zone between ...