African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Luba mask
Luba Kifwebe small mask (N° 20835)
This type of African mask luba, with a rounded structure, has similarities with the masks of the Songye. However, they did not have the same function. This category of African masks are named "bifwebe" (plural). They appeared at funerals and investitures. A prominent rectangular mouth and perforations around the eyelids distinguish this example. The patina is matte, abraded and velvety.
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They performed during the ritual ceremonies of the kazanzi society, responsible for fighting witchcraft. "Bifwebe" (Sing.: kifwebe) would moreover mean, according to C. Faïk-Nzuji, "to chase death". Worn with a voluminous raffia collar that concealed the dancer, this mask was generally danced in the company of a zoomorphic mask. For the Luba, white is synonymous with a relationship with the spiritual world, through the evocation of the moon that the circular shape of the object evokes.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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