Songe Kifwebe Female 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. This is a female mask with rounder shape, plain coiffure and emphasis on linear design patterns. It is carved with incised striations and bisected by a black band. It is painted white symbolized purity and fertility. Male and female masks participate in the ceremony either in pairs or in groups. The female masqueraders have controlled and gentle movements and are assumed to associate with reproduction, fertility and funeral ceremonies, as well with initiation, circumcision and public entertainment (Perani & Smith 1998:254; Bacquart 1998:168). 

Songe Kifwebe Female mask
Songe Kifwebe Female mask
Songe Kifwebe Female mask