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

Songye mask (N° 22658)

Fascinatingly creative, this songye kifwebe type mask has elements that spring powerfully from the volume of the face. The narrow plane of the cheeks in fact makes the buccal rectangle protrude, the latter being connected to the majestic crest overhanging it.

Shiny patina, erosions, small accidents.

Three variants of this mask Kifwebe ( pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death" (Roberts), from the society of the same name, are distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low or absent crest, and finally the tallest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, seems to come from the border zone between the northern Luba and the Southeastern Songye. They are worn by a Kifwebe dancer in a state of "bwadi" trances, accessorized with a long braided costume and a long adornment in natural fibers attached to the contours of the mask, during major ceremonies. The Songye came from the Shaba region in the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River in the middle of savannah and forests. They are governed by the yakitenge and by local chiefs. The Bwami secret society, however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were exhibited during punitive and disciplinary expeditions.  

Sold for 270.00

This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

Estimated shipping cost

Originex-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm42
Width25 cm
Weight1.05 Kg
Socle inclusOptional

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