African Basonge Tribe Full Facial Mask. Central Congo, Zaire, Headdress with raffia, hardened and molded burlap, deep red base with predominant white and black all over geometric design. This mask handmade and unique and is believed to be authentic. Measures 11" x 20" x 11".
"Mask and figurines in ceremonies are used to ensure Songye (BASONGE, BASONGYE, BASSONGO, BAYEMBE, SONGE Etc) success, fertility, and wealth and to protect people against hostile forces as lightning, as well as against diseases such as smallpox, very common in that region. In the Songye language, a mask is a kifwebe: this term has been given to masks representing spirits and characterized by striations. Depending on the region, it may be dark with white strips, or the reverse. The kifwebe masks embodied supernatural forces. The kifwebe society used them to ward off disaster or any threat. The masks, supplemented by a woven costume and a long beard of raffia bast, dance at various ceremonies. They are worn by men who act as police at the behest of a ruler, or to intimidate the enemy."
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