CollectionAfrican art.
This African mask luba has similarities with the Songye type masks also incised with streaks. However, they did not have the same function. This category of African masks named "Bifwebe" appeared during funerals and investitures. Cut according to classical criteria, the sculpture adopts a circular shape on which large coffee bean eyelids frame a nose dominating the rectangular projecting element representing the mouth, and continuing in a flat crest on the forehead. Slightly abraded satin patina.
Bifwebe masks were performed during the ritual ceremonies of the kazanzi society, responsible for fighting against magic for harmful purposes. "Bifwebe" (Sing.: kifwebe) would also mean, according to C. Faïk-Nzuji, "chasing away death". Worn with a voluminous raffia collar which concealed the dancer, this mask was generally danced in the company of a zoomorphic mask. Among the Luba, white is synonymous with a relationship with the spiritual world, through the evocation of the moon, which is evoked by the circular shape of the object.  

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OriginCollection X.R.
EthnyLuba
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm33
Width30 cm
Weight0.92 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle includedYes

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