What is a Kifwebe mask?
Striated face masks known as kifwebe was historically created by sculptors in an area of the Zaire River Basin inhabited by both Songye and Luba communities. Significant departures in the role and formal interpretation of this sculptural genre subsequently developed in each culture.
What does the Luba mask represent?
Among the Luba, the hemispherical masks represent the female spirits, while the elongated masks represent the male spirits.
What were Baluba masks used for?
This Buluba mask from the Democratic Republic of Congo is used as a celebration mask for the inauguration of new chiefs, and for the welcoming of dignitaries. This mask is also believed to bring good luck to its owner. The Baluba are one of the Bantu peoples of Central Africa. Their god is called Kabezya- Mpungu.
Where is the Chokwe mask from?
The Chokwe of Angola use a beautiful mask called Mwana pwo in their initiation ceremonies known as mukanda. Although they are exclusively worn by men, Mwana pwo masks represent female ancestors and emphasize the features that are most admired in young women.
Where is the Songye tribe located?
central Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Songye people, sometimes written Songe, are a Bantu ethnic group from the central Democratic Republic of the Congo. They inhabit a vast territory between the Sankuru and Lubilash rivers in the west and the Lualaba River in the east.
What is the meaning of Chokwe?
Definition of Chokwe 1a : a scattered people of northeastern Angola and adjacent parts of Democratic Republic of the Congo noted for the religious masks that they produce. b : a member of such people. 2 : a Bantu language of the Chokwe people closely related to or perhaps a dialect of Lwena.
What do Punu masks represent?
Punu masks represent idealized female ancestors’ faces. The white color of the mask is genderless; white is a symbol for peace, deities, spirits of the dead, and the afterlife. It is thus the predominating color in funeral celebrations and memorials. Therefore the masks were worn during funerals.
Where did Kifwebe originate?
Striated face masks known as kifwebe probably originated in North Shaba, an area inhabited by both Songye and Luba groups. Significant departures in the role and formal interpretation of this art form subsequently developed in each culture.
These kifwebe members commanded a body of esoteric secret knowledge visually encoded mnemonically in the mask’s features. Hierarchical distinctions between a single female mask and an unlimited number of male masks are reflected in color and in sculptural features.
What is the significance of the Songye masker?
Significant departures in the role and formal interpretation of this art form subsequently developed in each culture. Among the small Songye chiefdoms along the Lomami River, maskers were emissaries of the ruling elite, who relied on the ideology of witchcraft and sorcery to sustain their rule.