WONDERFUL MALE AMULET MASK KIFWEBE – SONGYE KALEBWE – D.R.Congo.
In fairly good state and clearly vintage. It dates back to around 1940. On stand.
Provenance : Ex-collection of the Petrov family collection.
Ex. P. Westerdijk around 1986 in Paris.
Carefully packed and shipped with Track&Trace
Apart from large wearable masks made for dance rituals, the Songye (and Hemba) also had amulet versions of their masks, both male and female ones of miniature size. These amulets had a protective function and were not used as passports as is so often stated without any actual research-based facts to support this claim. When mothers got pregnant after suffering from a long period of barrenness, they could order a miniature Kifwebe mask to honour the spirit of the mask that had helped them to give birth. Others had mini masks, often even smaller than this one, in their home to let its nkishi or residing spirit protect the house, its inhabitants and everything in it from supernatural harm. Such mini masks are far more rare than their big brothers!
Literature : Dunja Herzak : Songye , Zagreb , 2007.
Dimensions : 25 x 10 x 15 cm.
People / Region : Ther central Songye of the eastern Kasaye in S.E. D.R.C.
Material : medium density wood of the Ricinodendronheudelotii tree
in Afrikaanse kunst / Afrikaanse kunst