Kifwebe Mask

hck-0308-10_songye_f_  hck-0308-10_songye_v_  hck-0308-10_songye_b_  hck-0308-10_songye_34p_

HCK 0308-10 SOLD

Kifwebe Mask, Luba/Songye DR Congo

H: 87 cm (34,3″), W: 36 cm (14,2″)

Female Kifwebe masks like this fine and rare example are meant to exude beauty, tranquility and inner peace. Predominantly white with a few touches of black it is associated with purity and the spirits among the Luba and Songye ethnic groups in DR Congo. Kifwebe masks represent a supernatural being that defies any categorization. Not human, animal or spirit they are accompanied by strange sounds in the performing rituals.

Female Kifwebe masks were used in dances to activate benevolent spirits and detect malevolent powers. These masks were believed to possess healing and mystical power for the benefit of social control and protection. The mask bearers were considered as visual manifestations of the law. They sustained the rules of the society.

About Kifwebe masks
Kifwebe masks are differentiated by gender, shape and size but also by the basic surface coloration and the decorative design and patterns on the surface. The masks said to represent a female are rarer than masks supposed to depict a male. Normally a band of mask wearers is made up of one female mask and a number of male masks. Male and female masks are all worn by men.

Provenance: Belgian collection.

Click here for more information about the Songye and Luba people

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