African art > Mask > Kifwebe Mask

Kifwebe mask of Songye (N° 17969)

This large African Songye mask, the kikashi has protruding, incised and fluent eyelids to the temples, and a reduced naso-frontal crest. The tubular mouth is hollowed out in crosses. Parallel streaks are dug on the surface of the wood, symbolizing the plumage and the connection with death. Mate patina, desication cracks, erosions.
This variants of this Kifwebe mask (pl. Bifwebe) or 'chasing death' (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest see absent, and finally the greatest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to come from the border area between the northern Luba and the Southeastern Songye. They are worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers, absent on this copy, during the most important ceremonies. The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River amidst the savannah and forests. They are governed by the Yakitengé and local chiefs. The secret society Bwami, however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed in punitive and disciplinary expeditions.  

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480.00 
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OriginEx-collection italienne
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height49
Width30
Weight1.40 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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