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Shield - Wood - Kifwebe - Songye - Congo DRC

Shield - Wood - Kifwebe - Songye - Congo DRC

A carved wooden shield showing a male Kifwebe mask. Songye, Congo D.R.C.

Height: 55cm 67 on the custom made metal stand ( included)

Early to Mid 20th century - Reasonable Condition, the shield has been broken and restored in situ ( see images).

Provenance: Herman Bayet ( father of Thomas Bayet ).

A Songye shield with projecting kifwebe mask
Like other kifwebe masks, the parallel incisions in white (Pembe Kaolin), black and red (Tokula), projecting square mouth and contrasting black and white pigments emphasize its volume and geometric features.

Named after the men's society and its mask, Kifwebe controlled the behavior of women and children and collected and redistributed wealth. Kifwebe masks came in both male and female form, with the male forms typically being more exaggerated and larger in size. The most important identifying feature of a kifwebe mask is the crest--male masks exhibit a crest that juts out above the head.

The distinctive head in the center of this shield is modeled after a Kifwebe mask form shared by the Songye and Luba peoples. Shields such as this are hung on the walls of the structures where the masks are stored. It is unlikely they are used for combat, but rather serve a symbolic purpose.

All lots from David Norden's collection are sold with a written description of the tribe and David Norden private opinion .
May be viewed or picked up in David Norden's Buy African Antiques Shop in Antwerp since 1992.
Please note: seller guarantees the authenticity of his items as described.

Object Shield
Indigenous object name Kifwebe
Ethnic group/ culture Songye
Region/ country Congo DRC
Material Wood
Period 1st half 20th century
Condition In good condition - restored
Sold with stand Yes
Dimensions 55×25×16 cm
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