Songye Bird Mask

Lembu Collections


The Songye people of southern Congo are well known for their dramatic Kifwebe masks. These masks generally feature black and white striations with projecting mouths, noses and broad crests. In some cases, the masks are associated with particular animals – most frequently birds – in which case the crest is replaced by carved birds.

Kifwebe masks are usually worn by male dancers during important rituals, ceremonies and celebrations although the masks themselves may reflect either gender – masks with a single bird are male while those with two birds are female. The small oval mouth of the bird masks are in contrast to the more characteristic square or ‘x’ shaped mouths of Kifwebe masks. In this case, the small mouth represents the mouth of a bird and indicates that the wearer of the mask carries messages from the ancestors.

Size: 320mm x 150mm x 140mm

1 in stock

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 15 × 14 × 32 cm

320MM x 150MM x 140MM


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