Congolese Songye + Teke “Passport” Mask (Set of 2)
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One-of-a-Kind handcarved Songye + Teke “passport” masks handmade by artist in Congo.
Size: 5"L x 3"W
*You will receive both mask pictured.
Due to the handmade nature, expect natural imperfections that come with natural material and handmade artistry.
Lightly dust to clean. No cleaners or polish.
About:“Passport mask” were traditionally used as identification when traveling. African passport mask were used to identify their tribe or countryof origin when traveling across Africa. They were often sewn onto a piece of cloth, worn on the arm, carried in hand or attached to a hat.
This mask belongs to the category of the most famous Songye masks known as Kifwebe and made for the Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe Secret society. "Kifwebe" means "Mask" in the Songye language and represents spirits of the ancestors during initiation ceremonies. Male masks are distinguished by a striated pattern of three colors. The size of the crest determines the magical power of the mask. Male masks are known for their distinctive exaggerated forms. These masks are kept in special huts and are brought out and danced for special celebrations.
Teke mask are mainly used in traditional dancing ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and initiation ceremonies for young men entering adulthood. They are also used as a social and political identifier of social structure within a tribe or family. The Teke people are well know for their Teke mask that are flat and disk-like with abstract and geometrical motifs with horizontal lines.