Kifwebe Mask, Male
Luba, Dominican Republic of Congo
Wood. 20" H X 9" W X 9" deep
Kifwebe masks are designated either male or female, although the term Kifwebe itself refers to a men’s society in tribal Africa. Men’s masks tend to be larger with more exaggerated features and the female tend to have a flatter dimension to them––thus, this is most likely a male. Kifwebe masks are distinct for their layered, geometric design––an inspiration to Cubist artists like Pablo Picasso. The white is kaolin, a clay mineral. The mask would have been worn with an elaborate, woven costume and a long raffia beard, and danced in at various ceremonies.