African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Galoa mask
Galoa mask (N° 21889)
Globular mask surmounted by a bird's head whose beak had to be repaired by the previous owner. Linear lines divide the face with half-closed eyes, a short nose and a projecting mouth.
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Matt patina, abrasions and cracks.
The Galoa (or Galwa), a Pounou subgroup, live downstream from Lambaréné on the Ogooué River, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. They are called "people of the lake". They also produced masks called Okouyi, Okukwé, used by initiatory societies to reveal witchcraft and their authors through divination.
Several neighboring ethnic groups, including the Adouma and the Kota, use flat areas of contrasting colors in Gabon, including kaolin supposed to have apotropaic properties.
The groups of Gabon practice the worship of the bwiti, worship of the ancestors, and their relics are surmounted by a sculpture acting as a watchman.
"The soul of Africa" S. Diakonoff; "Black African Tribal Art" ed. Assouline.
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