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Mask (kifwebe)

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Both Songye and Luba masking societies employed a dramatic mask called kifwebe, whose linear patterns are said to allude to history, power, and a constellation of other esoteric meanings. The aggressive Songye male type like this example has a sharp crest, protuberant angular features, and red...

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About 1914/1918, said to have been acquired in Africa and taken to Europe. Merton Simpson (dealer), New York. September 9, 1986, sold by Michael Oliver, Inc., New York, to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1992, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Teel to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 26, 1992)

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

African, Songye peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 20th century

Object Place for Label

Democratic Republic of the Congo


50.8 cm (20 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment, and hair


Africa and Oceania