African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tsogho mask
Tsogho, Mitsogho mask (N° 19543)
A neighboring tribe of the Pounou or Punu , the Tsogo , Mitsogo , are traditionally farmers (slash-and-burn agriculture) and matrilineal, and renowned for their elaborate rituals of religious practice, and particularly initiation, including the bwiti or mwiri for men, and the nyembe for women. They live on the right bank of the Ngoumé River. The function of their African masks is essentially the propitiation of the spirits of the ancestors and divination through the use of medicinal plants, particularly hallucinogenic. Their masks are kept at the back of the ebanza house where the initiates gather.
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This mask offering thick kaolin residue in the center of the face is carved from dense wood. The corners of the mouth are raised, inscribing a debonair physiognomy. Abrasions and slight chipping of the outline.
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