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Nicholas a trifiletti essay

Concepts in the Visual Arts

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The Songye Masquerade


Once i again joined the Nelson-Atkins Art Art gallery, I quickly asked the safety guards where African collection was located. I that passes the Chinese language and Japanese galleries but nothing to drew my own attention more than the African croyant. As I moved into the room a distinct smell came upon my sound, one that suggested undiscovered argument. This is an art criticism newspaper, in which Let me describe, understand, and measure the Female Cover up, c. Later 19th 100 years.


The feminine Mask can be described as combination of solid wood, fiber, hide, pigment, and shell. The Female Mask sets in a case and its level is about 55-inches, width regarding 32-inches, and depth regarding 24-inches. The mask provides four specific components that embody the headdress. The first part is the related style of the hooded sweatshirt shaped, woven under-dress. Such material seems to be ruggedly sewn via a fibrous material this is a light maroon color, with distinct hints of light and darker concentrations of a dark brown tone throughout the under-dressing. Each sleeve in the dressing offers three-finger safety gloves perfectly stitched into the dressings sleeves. The feel of the under-dressing is that of a chain-mail stitch pattern with all seams cleverly hidden, conveying the attention to detail. The dressing includes the entire upper body of the woman who wears this mask. I as well noticed the waistline of the dressing is around 12-inches less than the tips of the three-fingered gloves.

The next element of the Kifwebe mask is definitely the thick, beard-like fibrous dressing located about the upper body region. The fibrous shower connects straight to the chin, and is stitched directly below the region in the chin area. The material appears like that of hay from a bail, nevertheless has wider, tubular attributes. The color of this material provides deteriorated, nevertheless the fibrous materials appears dark brown, and is complicated like various vines stacked on top of one another. The beards overall form resembles the poorly drawn alphabetical notice of M. With the left arm of the Meters stemming regarding even duration with the genuine under-dressings arm, with about an 8-inches difference involving the left and right individual arms. The center area is very ruff cut, and displays these same wrinkled dimensions.

The third major component of the Kifwebe mask is definitely the mask by itself, made of intricately carved real wood about how big is a golf ball. The upper half the mask can be evenly rounded like if the ball may be cut in half. The bottom half the mask can be skewed back to the inside leading right down to the chin, photo an elefant foot linked upside down. Both of these halves connect with form the anterior view from the mask. The medial side view in the mask boasts a large your forehead, and a protruding mouth shaped just like a rectangle, which in turn protrudes about 3-inches in the masks quarter and chin areas. The mouth is also hollowed out, and goes into the cover up to let air flow and sound project. The triangular-shaped nasal area remains level with that with the long your forehead, but reduces in immediately below the nostril area. The nose stands apart about despite that of your mouth, and the quarter and chin areas stay flat in the nose straight down. The your-eyes shaped like big tulsi leaves which has a coconut covering color, and possess would be comes that lash out to the side of the mask. The 3-inch long eyehole slits, cover the bottom duration of the tulsi leaf-shaped vision region at about the thickness of a pencil. There is also a distinct 1-inch, maroon line that runs slimmer thru the nose region, starting towards the top of the cover up continuing towards the bottom in the nose. This same pattern goes on from the oral cavity to the chin. The side watch also reveals that the your forehead of the face mask protrudes about 5-inches from the sculpted part panel boundary, where the hide connects towards the chain mail-like fiber shower. The face mask exhibits nearby, geometric grooves that from the major cosmetic features, and are also symmetrically molded to the attributes of the face mask. The lines on the upper half of the cover up are clean and even. Where as on the bottom from the mask, the lines will be sharp and jagged, like a horizontal lightning bolt although staying within this contour pattern. The inside grooves are white, with the surface area grooves a dirt-brown. These types of grooves are found on the factors of the nostril and oral cavity, and are contoured to the end of these features.

The fourth and final component of the Kifwebe mask is a unicorn-horn designed crown that is positioned where crown in the head would be. The small weaved bundle of under-dressing links the overhead to the mask, and wires the composition securely. The crown is apparently made of creature hide, and appears to have been painted with a platinum pigment. The crown features dilapidated over time and is now hangs down.


The Kifwebe cover up, which is significant to a tribe branch of the Songye people of Zaire, served many purposes inside the tribal persuits, most of which will tied to their deep psychic connection with environmental surroundings they lived on. The goggles were utilized the simply by secret men’s society as powerful tools for social control and protecting, we were holding displayed for important funerals, visits, and inaugural ceremonies. The Female Hide on the other hand, put properties which were more controlled and elegant, and mostly associated with moon rituals, funerals, and initiation rites. The female face masks are distinguishable by the white colored paint and lacking the crest found on male Kifwebe masks. The Songye people displayed their very own connection through ceremonial special event by paying out tribute with their life-sustaining solutions. These face masks were also used to invoke unnatural powers, used by the tribal leaders to heal and strengthen the tribe.

Women Mask nevertheless , had different spiritual articles than that of their male counter-parts. The womens etiqueta dances were always handled, calm actions to employ good spirits that will effect future generations. The male shows on the other hand, were wild, and spontaneous showing their electrical power, and power prevalent in their social environment. The aspects of design and performance are ever-present in the Kifwebe headdress. The masks happen to be decorated with mythological occasion, patterns created from geometric bands, reminiscent of markings on the pores and skin of various animals (http://www.civilization.ca). The long up and down lines for the nose will be characteristic from the forehead and muzzle of the hush again, a small Africa antelope sought after for endurance. Much of the articles resides during these distinct features, from the contoured grooves, towards the highly subjective facial features. The fantastic crown more than likely represents the horn of an antelope, plus the protruding mouth representing regarding a bird, or possibly a crocodile. The crest of the nose looks very much like that in the crest in the antelope. The numerous art varieties of Africa, Oceania, and the Unites states are based on reliable traditions, learned skills, and fine distinctions, just as Traditional western art is definitely. They are the item of cultural values and concerns(Artforms, l. 353).

The importance of etiqueta rituals, and social structure were really evident in these native civilizations. These face masks bestowed a sense of being, and a more stable sense of connection with a dynamic environment. The Songye people demonstrated this interconnection through etiqueta celebration, and paying homage to their life-sustaining resources. These ingredients and design principles additional enhance the interconnection of the spiritual sustenance distributed between gentleman and mother nature. The imaginative designs of the Female Mask, offers a sense of creating order out of mayhem, to communicate with the state of mind and pay homage necessary for your survival of a region, the ultimate goal.


I believed this was a great art piece not only to examine, but to learn about as well. We Americans consider so much to get granite with this current status of living, that I never believe we all spend time enough getting back to our roots. The smell in the room in which this show is exhibited, for some reason will take me to a place I possess felt just before. As strange as it may appear, I sensed as if an integral part of who We am was on display simply in an alternative supernatural impression. Standing in front of that circumstance, I could nearly picture to my way of thinking the sights and sounds of the ceremonial dance. The way the light flickered from the fire as many tribesmen, and women displayed their fabulous works towards the Gods that they believed in. Nevertheless isnt the fact that feeling one should get when we view pieces of this character? Historically, bits like the Female Mask needs to be greatly liked for their aesthetical qualities, as well as for their ability to transport your brain to royaume and ethnicities in retrospection.

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Category: Essay,

Words: 1570

Published: 02.25.20

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