Lot 126
Provenance: Galerie Delta, The Heritage of a Passionate Collector
A Luba mask

D.R. Congo.

Bifwebe masks (sing. Kifwebe) belong to the accouterments of a society of the same name where the mask, supplemented by a woven costume and a long beard or raffia, appears at various ceremonies. They are made from wood and come in many shapes and sizes, depending on their function and the area in which they were produced. Today, masks are still found dancing in Songye territory, especially in the eastern and central parts and to this day, they enjoy extreme respect.

These masks can be used in altered forms or context, playing a truly crucial role in Songye society. Their masks bind men together in strong and powerful brotherhoods and associations, the roles of which are to initiate, to control social order, and to serve as a counter force to the chieftains and noble castes. All Songye masks are worn only and exclusively by initiated men, who are members of the Kifwebe society. There are a variety of functions which are associated with the masks, they assure social order as well as social reproduction through their use in rites of passage such as initiations.

We can divide the masks into three main categories: male, female, and youngster versions. Its whiteness is a color sign associated with the positive attributes of nourishment and procreation. Male masks are aggressive both in their general appearance as well as in their conduct during their performances and village visits. There are at least two kinds of masks representing males: the senior and the junior. The senior is usually larger in size, with a big sagittal crest such as in this example, a continuation of the forehead protruding above. Made out of wood, fibres and feathers.

H 41 cm

€ 200,00
€ 300,00
€ 325,00

Hamerprijs: € 325