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Songye Statue Wearing Metal Mask 24.5″ – DR Congo – African Art

$250.00 $125.00

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This Songye statue is an unusual piece of artwork. The figure is wearing a metal Kifwebe mask on his face. He measures 23 inches tall, 24.5 inches including the custom base, and weighs 7 pounds. There is a crack on the side of his head that was repaired with metal “stitches”. Other cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos.

Type of Object

Figure, statue

Country of Origin

DR Congo

Ethnicity

Songye

Material

Wood, pigment and metal

Approximate Age

Unknown

Height

23" statue | 24.5 inches including base

Width

6"

Depth

7"

Weight

7 lbs

Tribe Information

About the Songye People

“During the 16th century, the Songye migrated from the Shaba area, which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), and settled on the left bank of the Lualaba River, on a savannah and forest-covered plateau. Divided into numerous sub-groups, the 150,000 Songye people are governed by a central chief, the Yakitenge, whose role demands that he obey special restrictive laws such as not showing grief, not drinking in public and not shaking hands with men. In addition, local rulers, the Sultani Ya Muti, distribute plots of land to their villagers and an influential secret society, Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe, counterbalances their power. Unlike their neighbors, the Luba, the Songye tribe is a patriarchal society in which agriculture is central to the economy.”

Source:
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.

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