These beautiful masks come from the Songye people of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.
This one measures 16 x 7 inches, not including the stand that its on. I'm happy to provide additional pictures if you message me.
The following information comes from the Hamill Gallery website:
ale Bukishi associations, clouded in secrecy, yielded political and mystical power revealed through their masks, known as Kifwebe (singular) and Bifwebe (plural). Female masks, primarily white, are restrained and elegant with striated surfaces. Their function was to awaken and honor benevolent spirits.
According to the specialists, Anthropologists and Art Historians, Kifwebe masks (sing.) or Bifwebe (plur.) are differentiated by gender and by their shape and size but also by the basic surface coloration and the decorative design and patterns on the surface. The masks said to represent a female are rarer than masks supposed to depict a male. In the field I have never seen more than one female mask at a time, yet groups of male masks are commonly encountered. Normally a band of mask-wearers is made up of one female mask and a number of male masks. All of the wearers, of course, are male. Most Songye female masks have a grooved surface that is painted over with white kaolin (pembe or ntoshi), and when the mask is worn repeatedly, this white partially wears off, exposing the natural wood. This exposure heightens the white/brown contrast and reveals the engraved striations. But when a mask is stored in a smoky environment the white surface darkens considerably. A black (tar, or composite resinous material) vertical stripe running from the top of the head, over the nose, and widening at the chin, divides the face in two. The eyes are lidded in black, and dark-red resin or red natural pigment (nkula) (sometimes European paint nowadays) will usually highlight the mouth and sometimes the eyes. When the surface paint has worn of or is soiled the masks are repainted.
Female masks will have no sagittal crest or perhaps a slightly raised flat one. Female masks exude beauty, tranquility and inner peace. They are not aggressive, either in their appearance or in their behavior.
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