Songye Kifwebe Mask with Beard Congo
This mask belongs to the category of the most famous Songye masks known as Kifwebe and made for the Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe Secret society. "Kifwebe" means "Mask" in the Songye language.
The Songye people are an ethnic group located in the southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One of the most recognizable forms of Songye art is the Kifwebe mask, which is used in various ritual performances and ceremonies.
Kifwebe masks are characterized by their elongated faces and linear incisions, which represent various animals, such as crocodiles, birds, and zebras. They are often painted with bold colors, such as black, white, and red. Male masks are distinguished by a striated pattern of three colors while the female one is predominantly white with the features accented in black and some red. The masks are used in dances and other performances to represent spiritual forces and protect against evil spirits.
In addition to masks, Songye art includes other forms of sculpture, such as statues and figurines. These sculptures often depict human figures or animals and are carved from wood or other materials.
Songye art has gained international recognition and is highly valued by collectors and art enthusiasts. It is considered an important part of African art and culture, and has influenced Contemporary art movements around the world.