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Kifwebe Mask

African Art

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Kifwebe Mask

Artwork Details


Luba Artist, Democratic Republic of the Congo


Twentieth century


Wood and paint

Accession #



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Currently Not on View


Both the Luba and Songye people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo use masks that are performed by the Kifwebe association, a men’s organization charged with maintaining law and order. The masks also serve a variety of additional purposes, appearing during initiation ceremonies, for funeral rites, and at secular public performances. Although individual Kifwebe mask styles vary, all are recognizable by the presence of concentric or parallel incised lines painted black, white, and red to accentuate the facial features.


Fred and Rita Richman Collection