African art > Mask > Kwele Mask
Pibibuze Kwele Mask (N° 16451)
The Kwélé, living on the northern border of Congo, are known for their highly stylized masks, whether anthropomorphic, then called pibibuze, or zoomorphs then called ekuk.
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Very stylized pieces with recognizable shapes, they have soft curves and overall harmony. Often, the expression is given by the contrast play created by the use of kaolin on certain areas of the mask.
The white facies comes in the form of a heart highlighted by the overall dark patina of the rest of the room. Dense wood with erosion.
These masks were displayed during the celebration of the cult bwete, multi-day event during which men went hunting in the forest while women and children stayed in the village. On the last day, the men returned, covered with pibibuze and ekuk, meaning " spirit of the forest".
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