AFRICAN MASK ANTELOPE – CCO573
Dimensions: cm 49 x cm 24 x cm 9
Country of origin: Gabon
African mask of the Kwele population of Gabon depicting the head of an antelope, used during the “beete” rituals.
Antelope masks are among the rarest specimens within the large group of Kwele masks, celebrated since their discovery in the 1920s for the modernity of their visual and pictorial design.
Called “ekuk,” antelope masks were powerful symbols of social cohesion for the Kwele. When socio-religious tensions threatened to tear apart the Kwele society, “beete” ceremonies were organized which served to drive away any misfortune that could affect the high dignitaries or the entire community, such as disease, war, famine.