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

Large Songye Kifwebe Mask (N° 18651)

Extraordinary pupils project on either side of the nasal ridge of this songye mask that unfolds at the top in high flat crest. A rectangular tube forms the mouth. This African mask whose volumes helped inspire the Cubist artistic movement is streaked with lines encrusted with white pigment. Patina mate, erosions at the top.
Hightop: 88 cm.
This types of African art mask Kifwebe are listed: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest crest or absent, and finally the greater embodying power (kia ndoshi). In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. 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.
Alers present in their society, divination made it possible to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that afflicted individuals. Also used by the Luba, worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers, the Kifwebe masks acted as a secret police in favor of power, so as to control individuals through magic. They also appeared during crucial stages of the initiation ceremonies.
 

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Originex-collection allemande
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height58
Depth31
Width35
Weight2.40 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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