African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Kifwebe

Statue Kifwebe (N° 17251)

This statue depicts a dancer, a member of the secret society Bwadi Bwa Kifwébé , in a state of transse bwadi, dressed in a braided suit and a natural fiber adornment attached to the contours of the female-style mask. The skirt is made of animal skin, on which remains a little fur. The appearance of this masked dancer is intended to increase fertility. The arms are mobile.
This variants of this mask Kifwebe (pl. Bifwebe) or 'chasing death' (Roberts), from the society of the same name, stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or 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. The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River amidst the savannah and forests. They are governed by the Yakitengé and local chiefs. The secret society Bwami, however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed in punitive and disciplinary expeditions.  

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Sold for 180.00

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Originex-collection Caldwell
Material(s)wood, plant fibre, peau animale
Height cm66
Width19 cm
Weight1.45 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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