African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kwele Statue

Kwele Statue (N° 22813)

Rare anthropomorphic figure of kwele type linked to initiation rites. The very graphic, flat face, with a very slightly hollowed center, is marked with incisions. The curved bust, the rounded arms seeming to push on the thighs, print a bending movement of the legs. The visual effect is magnified by the play of contrasting hues.
Abraded two-tone patina, desiccation cracks, erosions.

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 practice 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. The antelope's blood was also used among the Kwélé for therapeutic purposes. The Beete takes place over several days which end with the consumption of a medicinal dish which has been "activated" by the energy released by the dance and by the songs of the Ekuk masks and the villagers.  

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Origincollection Patrick Malisse
EthnyKwele
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood
Height cm47
Width22 cm
Weight1.45 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960

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