Arts of Africa
The kifwebe masquerade is a genre shared by the Luba and Songye, indicative of the interaction that has occurred between the two societies. Kifwebe masks represent either male or female beings. Both mask types are characterized by angular and thrusting forms, and in both cases the entire face is covered in patterns of geometric grooves that are uniquely characteristic of these masks. Female masks, such as this one, are distinguished by the predominant use of white clay and the rounded form of the head crest.
late 19th or early 20th century
12 x 7 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (30.5 x 18.1 x 15.6 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Collection of Beatrice Riese
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Songye. Mask (Kifwebe), late 19th or early 20th century. Wood, pigment, 12 x 7 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (30.5 x 18.1 x 15.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Collection of Beatrice Riese, 2011.4.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2011.4.2_threequarter_SL1_edited.jpg)
2011.4.2_threequarter_SL1_edited.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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The object is a female mask with projecting mouth, triangular nose, pierced eyes, overall concentric linear carving, and polychrome pigment.
Condition is excellent. Two small holes made in back at a previous time for suspending wire through the mask's widest point. Separate mount.
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