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Bete Mask Stylized Mustache and Tusks Cote d'Ivoire African Art

Product #: 114458
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Title Bete Mask Stylized Mustache and Tusks Cote d'Ivoire African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire
People Bete
Materials Wood, pigment, cotton cloth, metal studs, iron nails, vegetal fibers
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 12 Inches
Width: 7 Inches
Depth: 7 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Chips, scrape, rust

Additional Information:  A mask from the Bete of the Ivory Coast who live along the Sassandra River in large villages organized according to family lineages. This mask shows strong and dramatic details such as the extension of the lips with tusks on each side of the mouth, also a carved mustache, a proof of male power.  Horns arcing over the eyes suggest the influence of Grebo or Wee motifs.  A unique mask with character and signs of extensive age and use.  

Like neighboring peoples such as the We or the Dan and especially the We, also called Gere, whose influence can be seen in this mask, the Bete carve and use masks of extraordinary form and inventiveness to represent the untamed forces of nature that Bete identify as “Gle or Gre”. Such masks were worn during periods of social strife and war, whereas today they are danced primarily during funerals or are present during judicial proceedings or at times will dance to simply entertain clansmen and villagers.

Recommended Reading:

Jacques Kerchache et al ART OF AFRICA.