African art > Mask > Beté Mask

Bete Mask (N° 13014)

The presence of tangled animal horns joining head-on gives this African mask of the bent ethnic group a fantastic appearance. The flat surface on which the horns were attached with nails, hardened strips of canvas, has been fitted with an orifice, hidden between the horns, to allow vision. The forehead is framed by a canvas made up of thin strips of braided raffia. Vegetable libations cover the whole, giving the piece a crusty patina mixed with red ochre. Shells held by a rope, let their rattling during the evolution of the dancer.
It is mainly in western Côte d'Ivoire that the Bété use masks whose style has been influenced by the society of masks gla and Guéré , a set referred to or men who easily forgive, itself belonging to the cultural group Krou, these traditions having been passed on to them and taught by the Nyabwa. Of warlike origin but also involved in the resolution of conflicts, this sacred mask is worn accompanied by amulets that protect its wearer from its power from witchcraft. It is in order to strengthen its power through the exercise of customary justice that these masks are made available to the chief  

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Originex-collection Jaspart
EthnyBété
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood, cornes, coquillages, metal, raphia
Height42
Width25
Weight3.50 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1940
Socle inclusOptional

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