African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kota mask
Kota mask (N° 22469)
African mask Mahongwe, whose concave structure ending in a point and offering lines in relief would have inspired many cubist artists. However, despite its similarity to the faces of Picasso's "Demoiselles d'Avignon", the mask from the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva was brought back to Europe long after the famous canvas was created.
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The Mahongwé (mahongwe) are about 15,000 settled in the east of Gabon. Close to the Kota, they are known for their figures of guardians of reliquaries similar to the heads of Naja deployed and covered on the face with juxtaposed copper wires.
The Mahongwe, Obamba, Shamayé and Sango form with the Kota a group with similar rites and society. It is in the eastern part of Gabon that they live among the forests. Some crossed the Congo border after going up the sources of the Ogooué.
Ref. : "Masks of Gabon, journey to the sources of the Ogooué" ed. Wakes; "Kota" Perrois - ed. 5Continents.
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