200224 - Tribal used African Mask from the Kwele - Gabon.
African mask from the Kwele, Gabon.
This type of mask belongs to a group of masks meant to protect a village from any harm (witchcraft, dispute, misfortune).
Hand carved from a single piece of wood, with color pigments.
Height: 49 cm.
The Kwele live in Eastern Gabon.
The are known because of their masks with coffee bean eyes, heart shaped outer rim, and kaolin white pigment used in initiation ceremonies into the Bwete cult and for their reliquary figures. This figure was probably used as a memorial figure in the honor of the ancestor.
The Kwele live in Eastern Gabon. They are neighbors of the Fang, Kota, and Mahongwe peoples. They are known because of their masks with heart shaped outer rim, and kaolin white pigment on the face. These masks were used in initiation ceremonies into the Bwete cult. Kwele people have produced figures, although a few of them have reached western museums and collections. These figures have served to honor and worship the ancestors in order to get the beneficial forces from them. The use of white and red pigments related this piece to the invisible world of the spirits and the ancestors. another category of figures included reliquary and power figures.