African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kwese mask

Kwese mask (N° 20545)

This flat mask of the Kwese has delicately curved volumes offering a smiling face.
The eyebrows and lower eyelids are highlighted by discreet scarification marks. The uneven ears draw the eye to the center of the face.
Matte patina of light brown gold.
Height on base: 33 cm.
The Kwésé are settled among other tribes such as the Mbala and the Hungaan, along the banks of the Kwango River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A triumvirate selects the territorial chiefs to whom the village chiefs report. The Kwese grow primarily millet, maize, and cassava and fish in local rivers with traps and baskets. Neighboring ethnic groups have strongly influenced the style of their sculpture, which is sometimes erroneously attributed to the Pende, Suku or Mbala. In addition to figures representing chiefs, named ngoola and gabundu , they produced maternities, masks of the same type as those of the Suku, small fetish masks, objects and prestigious furniture. A heart-shaped face and the use of polychrome pigments frequently distinguish their masks.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm22
Width15 cm
Weight0.58 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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