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Tribal art > African mask > Beté Mask

Bété / Guéré Mask (N° 18134)

Ivory Coast mask with a zoomorphic appearance. Supposed to cause dread, it stands out thanks to side hooks and fangs on either side of metal teeth. The lower part is decorated with wooden fangs associated with plant fibres, the whole being fixed under a strip of canvas.
High on a base: 51 cm.
The Bété use masks linked to the cult of the bagnon in western Côte d'Ivoire. The style of their dance masks was influenced by the Wobé and Guéré peoples, a group referred to or 'the men who readily forgive', itself belonging to the cultural group Krou , these traditions having been passed on to them and taught by the Nyabwa. Of warlike origin but also involved in the resolution of conflicts, this sacred mask is worn accompanied by amulets that protect its wearer from its power from witchcraft. It is in order to strengthen its power through the exercise of customary justice that these masks are made available to the chief. The elements of the bush, protruding volumes of the forehead, horns and fangs, zoomorphic jaw in some cases evoking the gaping mouth of an animal creature, are associated with human traits marking the duality of the divine.
 

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OriginEx-collection Cheminal
EthnyGuere
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood, metal, plant fibre
Height46
Width16
Weight1.10 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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