230609 - Nice African Bete mask from the Kwele - Gabon.
Very expressive African Bete Animal mask from the Kwele, Gabon.
This type of mask is used for entertainment of the spectators on festive occasions.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood.
Height: 57 cm.
The Kwele masks originate from the rain forests of Gabon on the western coast of Africa and are hand carved by the Bwete association. The Kwele masks represent the spirits of the forest and the bush and are presented during initiation ceremonies and or at the end of a mourning period to promote well-being within a community. The Kwele masks act as intermediaries between the world of the bush and that of the village. These Kwele masks have human features and animal features such as antelopes (horns which always point downwards), male gorillas (the crest across the skull, the visor-shaped brow) and perhaps from a mythical animal.
Good condition with traces of wear and tear. The horn on top is slightly damaged.