The typical Songye mask is male when it has a white crest. The female mask is mostly white, with a smaller crest and finer stripes. These masks appear either in pairs or in groups.
The mask symbolises power and strength, while the stripes are reminiscent of the antelope. The nose is the vertical axis and the tree of life, while the mouth represents the bird’s beak.
The wearer of the mask has his body entirely hidden under a long skirt of fibers braided into netting. He wears a headdress surmounted by a plume.
The kya ndoshi mask is very powerful and much feared. It is larger than the others and has black and coloured stripes.