220802 - African KIFWEBE shield from the Songye - Congo.
african male KIFWEBE shield from the Songye, Congo, with extremely abstract face.
This type of shields serves the Kifwebe secret society and embodies a protecting spirit.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood with painted leather.
High are 34 cm.
The Songye people, sometimes written Songe, are a Bantu ethnic group from the central Democratic Republic of the Congo. They inhabit a vast territory between the Sankuru and Lubilash rivers west and the Lualaba River in the east, a vast group of villages can be found in present-day East Kasai province, parts of Katanga and Kivu Province. The people of Songye are divided into thirty-four conglomerate societies, each society is led by a single chief with Judiciary Council of elders and nobles (bilolo). Smaller kingdoms east of the Lomami River refer to themselves as Songye, other kingdoms in the west, refer to themselves as Kalebwe, Eki, Ilande, Bala, Chofwe, Sanga and Tempa. As a society, the people of Songye are mainly known as a farming community, they do, however, take part in hunting and trading with other neighboring communities.9