Songe Kifwebe Male mask

Type: mask
Exhibits: Cycle of Life
Tribes: Songe peoples
Location: The Democratic Republic of Congo
Period: 20th Century
Materials: Pigment, Wood

The Kifwebe masks were always worn by men, in connection with the Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe secret society. They are called Kifwebe, which means 'mask' in Songe language. They are differentiated by gender. Both masks participate in the ceremony either in pairs or in groups. This is a male mask with strong cubist features, protruding crest–nose and mouth, and has threatening, aggressive behavior of the male masqueraders. According to one of Songe creation myths, God sent a primordial couple to earth to cultivate the land; hence, the striations recall their trip, or their land. Another meaning: the path or roadway of the dead who await rebirth (D. Hersak 1985 cited in Art of Africa: 576-7).

Songe Kifwebe Male mask
Songe Kifwebe Male mask
Songe Kifwebe Male mask