Anthropomorphic figure in devotional posture, wearing a kwele mask.
African kwele masks are called pibibudzé, Ekuku zokou, etc...and are associated with ancestors or spirits of the forest, "< i>ekuk".
A 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 called Bwété borrowed from the Ngwyes, which was accompanied by obligatory initiation rites, they used at the end of the ceremonies in addition to zoomorphic elephant or gorilla masks, ekuk masks. i> evoking the antelope whose horns come together in a loop under the chin. The blood of the antelope was also used among the Kwélé for therapeutic purposes.
The Beete takes place over several days which ends 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.
The Kwele produce rare statues linked to initiation rites.
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