Ancient Kwele mask zoomorphic Antelope overhung with a skull - Wood - Gabon

Description
Ancient Kwele mask zoomorphic Antelope overhung with a skull - Wood - Gabon
Good condition, used with some signs of wear

Zoomorphic Kwele mask, with a geometric appearance, depicting an antelope.
This mask had a very specific function related to the cohesion of the village:

Each village consisted of several familial lines.
Each lineage was headed by a head of the family who competed with the other heads of the other lineages to become head of the village.
The village included priests and a man of peace whose role was to prevent the competition to become village chief from turning into a confrontation.
The cohesion of the village therefore depended on the skill of the man of peace and the authority of the village chief.

To strengthen this cohesion, the Kwélé borrowed from their Kota neighbours the cult of the bweté.
The celebration of this week-long celebration was decided at a meeting of the main lineage leaders.
At the beginning of this ritual, the men went into the forest to hunt the antelope whose flesh, decorated with medicinal herbs, was to be eaten at the closing meal of the ceremony that brought together the whole village.
When the men had been gone for a day or two while women and children stayed in the village, masks depicting an antelope appeared in the village and invited women and children to songs and dances.

Private collection.

Lot details
Object
Ancient Kwele mask zoomorphic Antelope overhung with a skull
Region/ country
Gabon
Material
Wood
Condition
Good condition, used with some signs of wear
Sold with stand
No
Dimensions
38×18×38 cm
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