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Female Kifwebe Mask

Arts of Africa

On View: Northwest Corner, Intro Gallery
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.
CULTURE Songye
MEDIUM Wood, pigment
DATES late 19th or early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 12 x 7 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (30.5 x 18.1 x 15.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Northwest Corner, Intro Gallery
ACCESSION NUMBER 2011.4.2
CREDIT LINE Collection of Beatrice Riese
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Songye. Female Kifwebe Mask, 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
IMAGE 3/4 front, 2011.4.2_threequarter_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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