Bete Wood Figural Pounder Pestle Côte d'Ivoire
Today the Bete people of the Ivory-Coast live along the Sassandra River in large villages organized according to family lineages. Like neighboring peoples such as the We or the Dan, the Bete carve and use figures of extraordinary form and inventiveness to represent important chiefs and honored ancestors during funerary ceremonies when they were presented to the village as part of a procession. This is a small carved figure with scarification pattern on cheeks (which could Bete signiture on this figure). Its calm expression and its standing position reflect the figure represented a person of some importance, a leader, a social elite or priest. This Bete figure shows stylistic input from neighboring peoples such as the Baule.