African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kwele Mask
Kwele Ekuk Mask, Pipibudze (N° 19800)
These African masks from the Kwele of Gabon, with a concave, heart-shaped face, have almond-shaped eyes and a triangular nose. Usually hidden, the smiling mouth is drawn here in a thin incision. 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 ". Satin patina, erosions.
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Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwélé, Bakwélé, 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.