African art > African Statues > Songye Kifwebe figure

Dancer Figure Songye Kifwebe (N° 18773)

This statue shows a dancer, member of the secret society Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe , in a state of "bwadi" trance, wrapped in a braided costume and a natural fiber ornament attached to the contours of the kifwebe mask. He wears a panty made of animal skin on which remains fur . The appearance of this masked dancer aims to increase fertility. The arms are mobile.
Three variants of this mask Kifwebe ( pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death"(Roberts), from the society of the same name, can be distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high peak, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low or even absent peak, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still in use today, seems to have come from the border zone between the northern Luba and southeastern Songye. The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River in the midst of savannah and forests. They are governed by the Yakitengé and by local chiefs. The Bwami secret society, however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed during punitive and disciplinary expeditions.  

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Originex-collection allemande
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, plant fibre, peau animale
Height80
Width20
Weight1.70 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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