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FEMALE SONGYE KIFWEBE HAND CARVED CEREMONIAL MASK

£475.00

A FEMALE SONGYE KIFWEBE HAND CARVED WOODEN CEREMONIAL MASK. THE WOODEN MASK IS CARVED WITH GEOMETRIC LINES ON THE FACE AND HEAD WHICH ARE WHITENED WITH PIGMENT AND DARKENED ON THE LARGE RIDGED NOSE, MOUTH AND EYES. AROUND THE BACK EDGE ARE THE HOLES WHICH WOULD HAVE ORIGINALLY HAD THE RAFFIA WEBBING WHICH BLENDED WITH THE REST OF THE COSTUME DURING CEREMONIAL DANCES. MOUNTED ON A BESPOKE BLACK MUSEUM STAND. DIMENSIONS LISTED ARE INCLUDING THE STAND.

PLEASE SEE OTHER SIMILAR MASKS WE HAVE LISTED.

IN THE SONGYE LANGUAGE, A MASK IS A KIFWEBE: THIS TERM HAS BEEN GIVEN TO MASKS REPRESENTING SPIRITS AND CHARACTERISED BY STRIATIONS. WORN BY BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, THE MASKS ARE PAIRED WITH WOVEN RAFFIA COSTUMES IN DANCES AT VARIOUS CEREMONIES.

FOR THE SONGYE, WHITE SYMBOLISES GOODNESS, PURITY, HEALTH, REPRODUCTIVE STRENGTH, JOY, PEACE, WISDOM AND BEAUTY. THE COLOR IS ASSOCIATED MOST COMMONLY WITH THE MOON, THE LIGHT AND DAYTIME.

SONGYE KIFWEBE MASKS WERE FIRST COLLECTED IN THE 1900S BY THE PIONEERING ARTISTS OF MODERNISM, WHO WERE CAPTIVATED BY THEIR BOLD, GRAPHIC STYLE. THEN IN THE 1920S, THE SURREALISTS MOTIVATED BY FREUDIAN IDEAS OF THE UNCANNY BECAME FASCINATED BY THE DREAM-LIKE QUALITIES OF THE MASKS.

ARTISTS LIKE PICASSO AND MODIGLIANI WERE AVID COLLECTORS AND THESE INFLUENCES CAN BE FOUND IN THEIR WORK. SEE BELOW A PHOTOGRAPH OF A YOUNG PICASSO IN HIS STUDIO SURROUNDED BY HIS TRIBAL ART COLLECTION.

MANY BELIEVE THE LINES OF THE MASK CREATE AN OPTICAL ILLUSION THAT CAN BE HYPNOTIC, PRE-DATING THE EXPERIMENTS OF THE OP ART MOVEMENT IN THE 1960S PIONEERED BY ARTISTS SUCH AS BRIDGET RILEY AND VICTOR VASARELY.

ORIGIN: CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE

DATE: 1970s

DIMENSIONS: H 62 CM x W 21 CM x D 20 CM

CONDITION: GOOD. THIS IS AN OLD MASK USED IN CEREMONIAL RITUALS SO HAS NATURAL WEAR CONSISTENT WITH A PIECE OF THIS AGE. THERE IS A SMALL CHIP TO THE BOTTOM LEFT HAND SIDE AND SOME OLD DAMAGE BY THE RIGHT EYE OF THE MASK BUT NO DAMAGE OR CRACKS TO THE STRUCTURE.

PRODUCT CODE: TRI 462

PLEASE NOTE THAT DELIVERY/SHIPPING IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THIS ITEM.

PURCHASES CAN BE PICKED UP FROM THE GALLERY BY APPOINTMENT OR WE'RE HAPPY TO ARRANGE DELIVERY/SHIPPING.

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