SONGYE MASKS, DRC

       

 SONGYE
Mask 54
16" high
$1200

The mask above has been vetted as being authentic.


SONGYE STYLE MASKS, DRC

Despite their appearance, the Songye masks below show no evidence of age or use and were probably made to be sold.


SONGYE STYLE
Mask 62
18.5-26" high
$400

SONGYE STYLE
Mask 63
17.5" high
$500


SONGYE STYLE
Mask 64
22-39" high
$600

SONGYE STYLE
Mask 65
16-48" high
$800

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

SONGYE MASKS

Audaciously shaped and highly symbolic, Songye Kifebwe masks are part of the regalia of the powerful Bukishi society. The power of the masks is directed towards issues of social control, justice and the continuity of the established political hierarchy and the dances in which the masks appear are characterized by otherworldly sounds and lively movements.

Kifebwe initiates learn the various hidden names of each part of the mask such as the nose which may be referred to as "the doors to a furnace". Male and female masks, all worn by men, are distinguished by form and coloration. The male version possesses highly exaggerated features and a prominent crest whereas the female masks (#46 above) are generally white with a low or almost nonexistent crest.


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GO TO SONGYE SCULPTURE PAGE

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GO TO WHITE EXHIBITION PAGE

GO TO MASKS AND HEADS PAGE

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Photographs © Hamill Gallery

SONGYE MASKS

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, masks like these were danced at important funerals, visits and investitures. Many of the masks include raffia or full fiber headdresses.

NOTE about stands: Some masks are mounted (square bases, thin vertical rod). The stands used are included in the price if desired. Others are placed temporarily on stands (round bases, thick vertical rod) which are not included.

GO TO SONGYE MASKS ARCHIVES PAGE (ALL SOLD)

GO TO SONGYE SCULPTURE PAGE

GO TO SONGYE SCULPTURE EXHIBITION PAGE

G) TO MASKS AND HEADS PAGE


HOMEPAGE

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TRIBE

 Index by
OBJECT

CONTACT US