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

Great Mask Songye Kifwebe Kikashi (N° 18816)

African mask of the Songye kikashi of very large size, it offers stretched hollowed out eyelids, and a naso-frontal crest that is a rib. The parallelepiped mouth is raised with red ochre. Parallel striations are engraved on the surface of the wood, symbolizing plumage and the link with death. Three variants of this mask Kifwebe( pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death"(Roberts) can be distinguished: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low or even absent crest, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still in use today, seems to have come from the border zone between the northern Luba and southeastern Songye. They are worn with a long costume and a long beard of natural fibers during the most important ceremonies.
The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River in the middle of savannah and forests. They are governed by the yakitengé and by local chiefs. The Bwami secret society, however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed during punitive and disciplinary expeditions.  

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Sold for 240.00
 


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Originex-collection allemande
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, raphia
Height103
Depth25
Width33
Weight1.80 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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