African art > African Shield > Songye Shield

Songye Shield (N° 17194)

Shield used by the company bwadi ka bifwebe , whose sculpted motif shows the mask Kifwebe . Two-tone matte patina. Abrasions.
Thirst variants of this Kifwebe mask (pl. Bifwebe) or 'hunt death' (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest see absent, and finally the greatest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to come from the border area between the northern Luba and the Southeastern Songye. They are worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers, absent on this copy, during the most important ceremonies. The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled between the Lualaba River and the Sankuru River amidst savannah and forests. They are governed by the Yakitengé and local chiefs. The secret society Bwadi however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed in punitive and disciplinary expeditions. Their appearances remained linked to divinatory and socio-political objectives. (Luba, F. Neyt) Litt. : " The Sensible and the Force Ed. Royal Museum of Central Africa  

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Originex-collection luxembourgeoise
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height45
Width18
Weight0.35 Kg
Estimated datingmid- xx°

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