African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songola mask
Songola Nsindi mask (N° 20477)
Flat mask, pierced with circular and rectangular holes for the mouth incised with teeth. The superciliary arches, in relief, emphasize an exorbitant look. Cracked two-tone patina.
Height on base: 55 cm.
Mixed by marriage with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye, the Luhuna institution composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live by hunting and fishing, and they are involved in sculpture, although the objects associated with the Bwami cult come from the Lega. Among their reduced statuary, the figures of the ancestors of the Nsubi society are reminiscent of those of the Mbole, while other sculptures were kept in baskets as among the Lega. Masks such as our example were used during Nsindi initiation rites.
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