The zoomorphic African masks of the Songye and Luba are associated with the kifwebe rites. Also practiced by the Luba, the kifwebe (songye "mask") cult acted as a secret police force in favor of power, so as to control individuals through magic. Worn with a long costume and a long beard made of natural fibers, Kifwebe masks additionally appeared at crucial stages of initiation ceremonies, at the new moon.
In the eastern part of the Luba region, important ceremonies are held in tribute to the ancestors of the clan, deceased chiefs, and to the new moon. Offerings are then granted to the spirits of nature, intermediaries between the group and the ancestors.
The Luba, or Baluba in Chiluba, are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, hence the name (Baluba, which means "the Lubas"). They were born out of a secession from the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership of Ilunga Kalala who killed the old King Kongolo since revered in the form of a python. In the 16th century they created a state, organized as a decentralized chiefdom, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory without any real border which includes at most three villages.
"Luba" 5 Continents. Rooberts
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