SONGYE STYLE MASK 34, DRC

While originating from the African continent, this mask is likely not created by the tribe who invented the design. The tribal attribution indicates the origin of the design, not the object.




Photographs © Hamill Gallery

SONGYE
MASK 34
18" high
DRC
$250
SOLD

Male Bukishi associations, clouded in secrecy, yielded political and mystical power revealed through their masks, known as Kifwebe (singular) and Bifwebe (plural). Female masks, primarily white, are restrained and elegant with striated surfaces. Their function was to awaken and honor benevolent spirits.

Male masks are known for their distinctive exaggerated forms. Aggressively formed with bulging eyes, projecting mouths and powerful crests, the masks of elders embody the greatest potential and strength. The dynamic forms symbolize the level of power, or grade of the masked figure. Used for social control, political action, or the solicitation of contributions and protection, they were danced at important funerals, visits and investitures.

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