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Currently shown

Kebe-kebe Dance Headdress

Location

REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, CONGO BASIN REGION

Culture

Kuyu

Title

Kebe-kebe Dance Headdress

Date

Late 19th c.

Materials

Wood, pigments

Dimensions

53.5 x 15.5 x 17 cm

Credits

Purchase, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 Fund, inv. 2016.3

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

Kebe-kebe dance headdresses are employed during the ceremonies of the initiatory society of the same name regulating its members’ individual, family and collective conduct. Early in the twentieth century, the French colonial administrator M.A. Poupon described their use during ceremonies among the eastern Kuyu honouring the serpent ancestor Djo. Spinning around, a dancer covered entirely in a raffia costume holds the headdress above his head. Nowadays, depictions of missionaries, General de Gaulle and the former president of the Republic of the Congo, Marien Ngouabi, among others, have been added to the cosmogonic figures, and the dance is also performed during festivals.

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