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Kifwebe Royal Mask, Songye Peoples, D. R. Congo

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Kifwebe, Songye Peoples, D.R. Congo

H: 38.5 inches, W: 15.5 inches



The most popular masks created by the Songye people are worn in connection with the Kifwebe secret society. They are called Kifwebe, meaning "mask" in the Songye language. The Kifwebe society used their masks to ward off any threat or disaster. By means of supernatural force, the mask has the capacity to heal. It is attached with a woven costume and beard of raffia bast, and danced at different ceremonies. Each mask, colors and costumes all have symbolic meaning. The male dancers who wear the male mask dance aggressively; with the aim of encouraging social conformity. on the other hand, the dancer who wears the female mask display more gentle and controlled movements and is assumed to be associated with reproduction ceremonies.


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