Rare Kifwebe mask rediscovered

The preview starts next week. Insights even now !

D.R.Congo, Luba, Kabinda Territory, Kifwebe, Songe

Male maskette of the "bwadi bwa kifwebe" society, D. R. Congo, Luba, Kabinda Territory, before 1920

collected in situ by a Belgian missionary (around 1920)
Dirk Vonck, Brussels, Belgium
Wolf-Bernard Müller, Krefeld, Germany

Preview in Wurzburg:
Wed 7 until Fri 9 March from 10 am until 7 pm 
Sat 10 March from 9 am until 2 pm 

Auction in Wurzburg:
Saturday, 10 March 2018 starting at 2 pm 

Telephone bidding support in German, English and French !


Photo: J.W. Mestach

Both drafts showing this mask can be found in former papers from Jean Willy Mestach (compare AHDRC 0030686-004). According to AHDRC this type of masks was often collected between 1900 and 1930.

A work by the same master is illustrated in a feature on Kifwebe maskettes of the Luba and Songe (see Tribal Art Magazine, Spring 2008, p. 111, Fig. 20) and was attributed to the "Lubangule".

Photo: Courtesy of AHDRC

The so-called "Lubangule" are a Luba subgroup, who live in the southern part of Kabinda in the province of Katanga, bordering the Luba-Kasai. The works collected in this region exhibit a mixture of Luba and Songe styles and are often referred to as Luba/Songe.

Masks like the present one are called "masque du case" ("hut masks"). They were not danced and therefore had no holes on the rim for costume attachment. They were probably suspended from the ceiling of a hut.

Luba "kifwebe" masks are generally benevolent anti-sorcery masks, used mainly for the purposes of purifying and protecting the community from malevolent spiritual forces by employing the aid of the ancestors.

Werfen Sie schon jetzt einen Blick auf diese auffallend schmal geformten, sogenannten Hütten-Masken, die nicht getanzt wurden.

Take a look at this striking narrow form of the so-called hut masks which were never danced.

Take a look at the showroom
(Photos: Matt Keyworth)