Kifwebe masks were made for the Kifwebe association, a type of society that provided a means of controlling social behavior and neutralizing disruptive elements within the group. These masks appeared at the installation and death of a chief, and at the initiation rites of young men as well as a whole range of occasions that included punishments, warfare and public works. There is great variety and symbolism within the various Kifwebe masks. More than thirty different mask names have been recorded. Several have animal names while other masks have names of illnesses like leprosy or names denoting natural phenomena. For the most part Kifwebe masks no longer function to maintain social control among the Songye except in the southeastern regions bordering on Luba territory.Female masks, in direct relation to the physical world and procreation, move calmly; their task is to invoke benevolent spirits that will influence the future generation. Female masks are associated with the moon and are worn for moon rituals as well as during funerals and initiation rites.The following mask shows age and good usage.The following Songye mask shows signs of good age usage.
Material:wood and paint
Origin:Democratic Republic Of Congo
|Dimensions||23.5 × 17.5 × 38.4 cm|