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Kwele Female Fetish Figure Gabon African Art 25 Inch

Regular Price: $890.00

Special Price: $440.00

Product #: 98735
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Title Kwele Female Fetish Figure Gabon African Art 25 Inch
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Gabon, near Equatorial Guinea
People Kwele
Materials Wood, pigments
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 25.5 inches T. x 7 inches W. x 7 inches D.
Overall Condition Good. 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 Scratched, scraped, and worn patina, chips, cracks, and scuffs; see pictures for details.


Additional Information:   The Kwele live in the northeastern of Gabon and the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville). They have produced varieties of mask used in the initiation ceremonies into the Bwete cult. The Bwete Society has social control over most activities of the Kwele, a small patrilineal group living to the east of the Fang and Kota, in the dense forests of inland Gabon, living to the east of the Fang and Kota. The Kwele associate most problems with witchcraft, though their arts do not seem to reflect this. Most of their art, which consists mostly of two forms of masks, is connected to Beete rituals. There are two primary masks used by Beete dancers prior to the hunts, one quite stylized, resembling an antelope (Ekuk), and the other a gorilla (Gon), also quite stylized. The famous, heart-shaped Ekuk antelope masks represent the peaceful spirits which might be encountered during the hunt, as opposed to the dark, double-fanged Gon, which symbolizes danger. Gon masks are extremely rare. A few other face masks exist but are vague in appearance. There are also a few strikingly beautiful, more realistic antelope masks, with pointed horns and diagonal slit eyes, which differ considerably from the Ekuk masks. These can be breathtakingly beautiful and are highly-prized by collectors. It is curious that the Kwele never adopted the "Bwete" Society ancestor rituals of their close neighbors the Fang and BaKota.