African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye Mask

Songye Mask (N° 19650)

Ex-German African tribal art collection.
. Always spectacular are the Songye masks where the nasal edge extends upwards from a wide disc. From the prominent mouth, which evokes lips frozen in articulation, a sound, perhaps a breath, could be exhaled. This African mask, whose volumes helped to inspire the Cubist artistic movement, is striated with wide bands inlaid with white pigment. Matt patina, cracks.
 Three types of Kifwebe African art masks are listed: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high peak, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest peak or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors. The Songyes have created impressive statues with powerful features often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories such as feathers, skin and a horn full of magical charge.
Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover wizards and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals. Kifwebe masks were also used by the Luba, worn with a long costume and a long beard made of natural fibers, and acted as a secret police force for power, in order to control individuals through magic. They also appeared during crucial stages of initiation ceremonies.  

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Originex-collection allemande
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm46
Depth35 cm
Width16 cm
Weight0.65 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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