Kifwebe, DRC, circa 1940
9" H x 4" W x 4" D
Kifwebe refers to a men’s society in this part of Western Africa, and Kifwebe masks are distinct for their layered, geometric design. They were a favorite of, and an inspiration for, Pablo Picasso and other Cubist sculptors. A petite mask like this is sometimes referred to as a “passport mask,” a portable piece that would be carried when traveling to distinguish a person’s tribe, and to carry on one’s person the mask's inherent powers.