Title: Kifwebe Mask
Material: Wood and natural pigments
Country: D.R. Congo
Description: Masks of the Bwandi Bwa Kifwebe Society aid its leaders in the exercise of economic & political power by evoking the help of supernatural forces.
Songye masks are distinguished by rows of grooves on the mask face, representing the subterranean region from which the primordial couple emerged. The masks depict either a male or female spirit.
Female masks are predominantly white or have retained the color of the wood; male masks usually incorporate the color red.
Kifwebe masks in particular were worn during initiation and funeral rites & secular public performances. The mask would also dance during rites associated with the moon to purify the community of evil danger.
17" in height x 10" in width x 8 1/2" in depth.