African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Beté Mask
Beté Mask (N° 13076)
The African art of the Wé peoples and its African warrior
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The elements that make up the face of this abstract face are dramatically duplicated. The result is a belligerent face, made up of horns and disparate tubular eyes. Metallic shards animate the dark patina. The forehead evokes a warrior helmet, typical of these masks supposed to cause dread. An animal skin sheaths it, topped with dried fruit and horns. The raffia and hair beard conceals bells and bells.
Thusin the west of Côte d'Ivoire, the Bété use masks whose style has been influenced by the mask society gla we ed and Guéré, a set referred to as Wé or 'men who forgive easily', itself belonging to the cultural group Krou, these traditions having been passed on to them and taught to them 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.