Tsogo mask - Wood - Gabon

Tsogo mask - Wood - Gabon
Good condition, used with some signs of wear

Although geographically preserved within its inhospitable mountains, the Tsogo country is located at the crossroads of clearly distinct stylistic tendencies.

Thus, the Tsogo culture stands at the converging point of inputs and beliefs, that it seemingly aimed to syncretise by a religious and mystical vocations.

Used during nocturnal ceremonies of the initiatory society of the Bwété, these masks are ritual objects, hidden from the sight of non-initiates.
These intervene as supernatural manifestations, materialising the multitude of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic entities, used as symbols by the brotherhood’s esoteric teachings.
Therefore, the mask has the function to visualise the colourful pantheon and to proliferate symbolic images evoked by initiatory tales. Among the Mitsogo and within the Bwété society, the mask has a double function.
Sacred object only reserved to initiates at night, the same mask appears at day, visible to everyone, taking an ambiguous role:
in this case, it still causes fear, but also becomes an excuse to play a game.

During the diurnal rejoicings which pursue the Bwété ceremonies, we can observe real scenes in which unmasked persons, but who are travestied or rigged out with ridiculous tawdry rags, incarnate kinds of buffoons playing the part of anecdotal figures, in smutty or satirical scenes in which the history of the tribe is evoked, as well as its quarrels with neighbouring tribes.

Lot details
Tsogo mask
Region/ country
Good condition, used with some signs of wear
Sold with stand
44×21×44 cm
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 50,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in