African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye mask
The tribal masks of the Songye .
African mask of the Songye ethnic group, in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo . Provided with a high sagittal crest, this mask, of modest size, would be masculine, as opposed to the feminine mask which carries a ridge. The lines in powerful relief give it a spectacular appearance. Matte patina, abrasions.
Three variations of this Kifwebe mask (pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death" (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very high crest. bass or even absent, and finally the biggest one embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, is worn with a long costume and a long beard made of natural fibers, absent on this example, during ...