African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songola mask
Songola Nsubi mask (N° 20931)
This rectangular, two-colored mask is an executioner's mask intended for the highest ranks of the Nsubi society, which also initiates wives. This mask borrows certain features from the Kumu and Mbole masks.
Mixed by marriage with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye the Luhuna institution composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live by hunting and fishing, they engage in sculpture although the objects associated with the Bwami cult come from the Lega. Among their reduced statuary, the figures of ancestors of the Nsubi society evoke those of the Mbole, other sculptures were kept in baskets as among the Lega. Masks such as our example were used during Nsindi initiation rites.
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