Songye Ngabo honorific shield


Traditional shields in African art

Among the Songye and Lubaïsés people, there are other objects bearing the same characteristics as the Kifwebe masks. Among these, the shields. The sculpted elements are divided into three magico-cultural levels: basically, they recall the cosmogony with the basic elements and nature. Then, the central role of the artistic corpus aiming to remember the ancestors, and finally, the last role, that of protecting the wearer against witchcraft and the forces of evil.

This Songye honorary shield is superbly decorated with streaks in the images of bifwebe, a copy of which is reproduced in high relief in the center of the outer face. This is a female kifwebe kikashi mask with its low black crest and face bleached with kaolin.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
Mid XXth century
48 cm
Ethnic group
Songye / Basongye
Wood, kaolin
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Tribal art collection Belgium

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