African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kwese mask

Kwese small mask (N° 20350)

Facial mask of relatively small size, surrounded by a border on which the raffia ornament was attached. The face, hollowed out in the shape of a heart, has a rounded forehead, protruding eyelids that are lowered, and a straight nose overhanging incised lips, which refer to the traditionally carved dentition. The ears, minimal, are raised with a touch of pink ochre. Golden brown patina with light pigments. Height on base: 32 cm.
The Kwésé are established among other tribes such as the Mbala and the Hungaan, along the banks of the Kwango River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A triumvirate selects the territorial chiefs to whom the village chiefs report. The Kwese grow primarily millet, maize, and cassava and fish in local rivers with traps and baskets. Neighboring ethnic groups have strongly influenced the style of their sculpture, which is sometimes erroneously attributed to the Pende, Suku or Mbala. In addition to figures representing chiefs, named ngoola and gabundu , they produced maternities, masks of the same type as those of the Suku, small fetish masks, objects and prestigious furniture. A heart-shaped face and the use of polychrome pigments frequently distinguish their masks.  

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OriginEx-collection Pernas
EthnyKwese
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height21
Width17
Weight0.63 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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