Kwele Pibibuze mask - SOLD OUT

The Kwele (Bakwele) live east of the Fang, in the region straddling the northern part of the border between Gabon and Congo Brazza. They carve facial masks of four different shapes, none of which appear to have been worn normally and many of which do not have eye holes. Exceptionally, this traditional mask has and has a patina worn inside. According to Raoul Lehuard, who has done a lot of research in this area, this is explained by the fact that among the Kwele, the masks were rather exposed for hand-carried during the ceremonies.
These masks were ordered after the birth of a boy and represented a spirit of nature that accompanied him when he entered the bush school at the age of eighteen.
The four types of bakwele tribal masks represent three animals and one man pibibuze.
The other three include the gorilla, the elephant and the antelope. The pibibuze mask like this one was often carved with a heart border.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
1st half XXth century
28 x 17 cm
Expert's estimate
425 - 475 €
Ethnic group
Kwele / Bakwele
Wood, kaolin
Tribal art collection Belgium

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