220562 - African Tribal used Kwele animal mask - Congo


Congo: Old African Tribal used Kwele animal mask.

Hand carved from a single piece of wood.

Height: 50 cm.

There are two primary masks used by Beete dancers, one resembling an antelope (Ekuk) and the other a gorilla (Gon). The present mask belongs to the category of famous, heart-shaped "ekuk" masks representing the peaceful spirits which might be encountered during the hunt, as opposed to the "gon," which symbolizes danger.
The Kwele live in the northeastern of Gabon and the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville). They have produced varieties of mask used in the initiation ceremonies into the Bwete cult.

The Bwete Society has social control over most activities of the Kwele, a small patrilineal group living to the east of the Fang and Kota, in the dense forests of inland Gabon.