Bete Mask Côte d'Ivoire Early to Mid 20th C
A heart-stopping mask...encrusted patina
This expressive mask comes from the Bete people of the Ivory-Coast who live along the Sassandra River in large villages organized according to family lineages. Like neighboring peoples such as the We or the Dan and especially the We or Guere, 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 ‚ÄúGle or Gre‚Äù. This present mask has facial features that show Baule, Dan's and Wee influences.
See Jacques Kerchache et al ART OF AFRICA.
The Beté tribe is a group of people who inhabit the Ivory-Coast, a country located in West Africa. Like many other tribes in the region, the Beté people have a rich tradition of woodcarving, which they use to create various objects of cultural and spiritual significance.
One of the most notable forms of Beté carving is the mask. These masks are typically made from wood and are used in various cultural ceremonies and rituals. They are often carved to represent animals, spirits, or other beings, and are believed to have mystical powers that can protect their wearer or the community as a whole.
Another common form of Beté carving is the figurine. These small, carved wooden sculptures are often used in religious ceremonies and are believed to represent ancestors or deities. They are often adorned with various symbols and patterns that are unique to the Beté culture.
In addition to masks and figurines, the Beté people also create other types of woodcarvings, such as bowls, utensils, and furniture. These objects are often decorated with intricate designs and patterns that reflect the artistic sensibilities of the Beté people.
Overall, Beté wood carvings are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Ivory-Coast and the West African region as a whole. Through their intricate and detailed carvings, the Beté people have created a legacy that continues to inspire and captivate people around the world.