Kifwebwe Mask (CMSK 068)

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The Songye people, sometimes written Songe, are a Bantu ethnic group from the central Democratic Republic of Congo. The Songye people are well-known woodcarvers for making ceremonial masks and power figures. Kifwebe masks belong to the bwadi bwa kifwebe association a masculine initiatory society. Members of this society were believed to possess sorcerers’ powers, they exerted control over the population in order to maintain the status of the political elite. This is a female type of mask. It has a dynamic jutting mouth, concave-shaped merely open eyes. The eyes, mouth, nose are blackened with a paint-like substance. It has thin, deeply curved incised lines across the face of the mask, white kaolin though worn out still remains on the surface of the mask especially in the deep recesses of the incised patterned surface. The inside of the mask has traces of dark coloration due to repeated ritual usage. Female songye masks represent the spirit of an ideal gentle, fertile woman. This mask shows signs of wear, especially around the nose, mouth, and eyes.

Material:Wood, Paint, Kaolin

Age:approx 50-75yrs

Origin: Democratic Republic Of Congo

Condition: Fairly good

Additional information

Weight 0.7 kg
Dimensions 7 × 19 × 42 cm


Gallery Antique Uganda