Initiation mask - Wood, pigments, kaolin. - Nzambe - Tsogo / Mitsogo - Gabon

Initiation mask - Wood, pigments, kaolin. - Nzambe - Tsogo / Mitsogo - Gabon
2nd half 20th century - Good

Among the Tsogho and the Mitsogho mountain peoples from Gabon, this mask represents the primordial ancestor named Nzambe: it has a double function within the Bwété society.
Sacred object reserved only for initiates at night, the same mask appears during the day to everyone, thus, assuming an ambiguous role:
in this case, it still provokes fear, but also becomes a pretext for entertainment.
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.
Soft and light-weighted wood.
Dry patina of wear.

Lot details
Initiation mask
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Tsogo / Mitsogo
Region/ country
Wood, pigments, kaolin.
2nd half 20th century
Sold with stand
32×22×10 cm
430 g
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