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African Bete Mask


African Bete Mask

In Stock

SKU: 681. Posted in .

Product Description

The Côte d’Ivoire is home to the Bete. They reside in the southwestern part of the country, between the Akan ethnic groups to the east and the Guro tribe to the north. Historically the Bete were great hunters, but today they are known as farmers growing mostly cacao and coffee. As carvers, the Bete are known for one particular type of face mask, the gre or nyabwa. The cheek piece still has remnants of the glue used to assemble this mask, and are still visible. We have NOT done anything to this mask to change its original craftsmanship.  These masks have exaggerated, grimacing, distorted features. In early times, these masks  presided over ceremonies and were worn to prepare men for war. The belief was that the masks offered protection by instilling fear and terror in potential enemies. This is a beautiful and unique old mask.

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