Tribal art > African mask > Kwele mask
Kwele mask (N° 20959)
Traditional African mask from Gabon with a concave, heart-shaped face, arched eyelids and a short, triangular nose. Generally hidden, the mouth is drawn here in a thin incision in the dark area of the face. Depending on the presence of horns and their arrangement, the masks are called pipibudzé , Ekuku zokou , etc...and are associated with ancestors or forest spirits, " ekuk ". Misses on the contours.
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Thick crusty patina, locally chipped. Restoration on a horn.
Height on base : 61 cm.
Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwele, Bakwele, live in the forest on the northern border of the Republic of Congo. They live from hunting, agriculture and metallurgy. Practicing the cult called Bwété borrowed from the Ngwyes, which was accompanied by obligatory initiation rites, they used at the end of the ceremonies ekuk masks evoking the antelope whose horns meet in a loop under the chin. The blood of the antelope was further used among the Kwele for therapeutic purposes. They produce rare statues related to the initiation rites of young men.
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