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10 of 1,327

Democratic Republic of Congo, Songe people

Female kifwebe mask

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Object Details

Culture

Democratic Republic of Congo, Songe people

Medium

Carved wood, white pigment, twine

Dimensions

Approx.: 16 × 8 1/4 × 8 1/4 inches (40.6 × 21 × 21 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Thomas Carroll, PhD 1951

Object
Number

2012.045.001

This object was acquired by Dr. Thomas Carroll because it is similar to the African masks that may h(…)

This object was acquired by Dr. Thomas Carroll because it is similar to the African masks that may have inspired Picasso’s 1907 painting Les demoiselles d’Avignon. The angular planes of the face, the emphasis of certain features, and the stylization of others corresponded with the cubists’ attempts to depict all planes of an object at the same time. In its place of origin, this mask would also have a functional use, and would be activated through kifwebe dances of the Luba and Songye peoples in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. (“This is no Less Curious: Journeys through the Collection” cocurated by Sonja Gandert, Alexandra Palmer, and Alana Ryder and presented at the Johnson Museum January 24 – April 12, 2015)

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