African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kwele Mask
Kwele Mask (N° 19423)
Ex-collection of French African art.
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Mask Kwele Pipibuze, Pipibudze, ("the man") symbolizing the light and clairvoyance necessary to fight against the forces of witchcraft. This mask is topped with horns wrapping laterally around the face in which the arches are hollowed out in the heart. The zoomorphic attributes evoke the antelope or duinker, the main game of the region kwele. This type of mask was not always intended to be worn, but adorned the walls of the huts. Discreet kaolin residues, powdery matt patina.
Depending on the presence of horns and their arrangement, the masks are named pibibibudzé , Ekuku zokou , etc...and are associated with ancestors or spirits of the forest, " ekuk ".
Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwélé , Bakwélé , live in the forest on the northern border of the Republic of Congo. They live from hunting, agriculture and metallurgy. Practicing the cult named Bwété borrowed from the Ngwyes, which was accompanied by obligatory initiation rites, they used at the end of the ceremonies in addition to the zoomorphic masks of elephant or gorilla, the masks ekuk evoking the antelope whose horns meet in a loop under the chin. Antelope blood was also used in Kwélé for therapeutic purposes.
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