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

Songye Kalebwe Mask (N° 19903)

Specific to the kalebwe region, in the center of Songye country, this African kifwebe mask bears astonishing protruding, curved pupils on either side of a broad sagittal ridge. The striated patterns on the surface are coated with burgundy, black, and cream pigments. Matt patina, erosion of the contours and cracks of desiccation.
 Three types of African Kifwebe masks are listed: the male (kilume) generally with a high crest, the female (kikashi) would have a more modest crest or even absent, and finally the largest 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 manner. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors. Divination is very present in their society, allowing them to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of misfortunes that affect individuals. Also used by the Luba, worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers, the Kifwebe masks acted as secret police in favor of power, so as to try to control individuals through magic. In addition, they appeared during crucial stages of initiation ceremonies.
Litt. : "Kifwebe" F. Neyt, ed. 5Continents.  

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OriginEx-collection corse
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight1.35 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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