Kwele (or Bakwele), Gabon, border region Congo, Cameroon and Zentralafrikan. Republik:
A 'Ngon' mask, representing the 'Lord of the Earth'; made of wood, with typical projecting forehead, crest, short, wide nose, projecting mouth with long eyeteeth, black ground with dark red colouring, the forehead white (kaolin), the mouth with red fabric. The shape of this rare mask type is derived from the features of a male gorilla, which plays an important part in the foundation myths of the Kwele, as a founder of the clan and mythical ancestor! This 'Ngon' mask is a particularly fine, old, and rare piece with excellent patina to the exterior and on the inside. 19th - Early 20th Cent. H: 42 cm. (ME)
Prov.: Philippe Guimiot, Brussels; Austrian private collection. Lit.: 'Le Souffle des Esprits. Art sacre du Bassin de L'Ogooue' by Pierre Redouin, Text and ill.: p. 216/217; 'Die Kunst des schwarzen Afrika' by Kerchache, Paudrat, Stephan, ill.: 577.
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