Tribal art > African mask > Kwésé mask
Ex. collection African tribal art from Belgium.
African mask capped with a skullcap and featuring a face imbued with contemplation. The features are framed by circular ears with detached pavilions. The raffia ornament attached to the base, intended to conceal the wearer, remains preserved. Velvety matt patina, abrasions.
Coming from Angola in the 17th century, the Mbala settled in northwestern Zaire and east among the Pelende, Suku, Pende, and Yaka. Formerly matrilineal, they are made up of clans headed by the maternal uncle. The chief was in charge of the ancestor cult, although it was quite limited. Following a retreat of a few days, royal insignia and charms were given to him, intended to combat powers opposing the hunt, social peace, and the crops. The Kwésé are, ...