African art > Mask > Kwélé Mask
Masque facial Kwélé Ekuk (N° 16536)
These gabonese masks with a concave face, in the heart, have almond eyes and a triangular nose. Generally concealed, the mouth is drawn here in the lower part of a concave face in a thin incision giving a smiling appearance. Depending on the presence of horns and their arrangement, the masks are called pipibudze, Ekuku zokou, etc. and are associated with the ancestors or spirits of the forest, " ekuk ". Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwélé , Bakwélé , live in forest on the northern border of the Republic of Congo. They live on 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 the masks ekuk evoking the antelope whose horns meet in a loop under the chin. The blood of the antelope was also used in Kwélé for therapeutic purposes. They produce rare statues related to the initiation rites of young people.
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Two-tone abraded patina, erosions.
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