Ex-Belgian African art collection.
The Bété form a people established on the left bank of the Sassandra River southwest of the Ivory Coast. Close to the Kouya and Niabwa , the invoice of their masks, as well as their function, have great similarities. These masks introduced by the Niabwa were carved with the aim of provoking psychological conditions conducive to rituals. Each of them had a secret name and materialized the powers of the forest.  At the disposal of the chief, they were exhibited during funeral ceremonies or on the occasion of the great feasts of meetings between several villages. According to Koré, in Côte d'Ivoire's Living Masks", Bété masks include two types: the tohourou and the dancer mask glé . The piece offers a broad front that a scarification divides vertically.  Lumpy clusters, in kaolin, evoke the white hair of the old to compose a hairstyle in relief.  The main feature of this mask consists of two large, skewed eyelids, highlighted by parallel grooves marking a hook on the temples.  In the ovoid chin is drawn the mouth ajar on incised teeth.  The piece was originally intended to be decorated with a beard, the nails of which remain. 
Black glossy patina, kaolin residue at the look.  

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OriginCollection belge
EthnyBété
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood, brass
Height cm33
Depth18 cm
Width20 cm
Weight1.68 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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