Ekuk Mask

Beete Mask: Forest antelope
Exhibits: Ancestor Cult
Tribes: Kwele peoples
Location: Gabon / Republic of Congo
Period: 20th Century
Materials: Pigments, Wood
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 To reinforce unity, the Bakwele celebrated the Beete cult. The Beete ritual lasted for an entire week. It began with the strong men going into the forest to hunt an antelope, whose flesh, seasoned with medicines, had to be eaten at the closing ceremony. During the hunt, women and children stayed in the village. After a day or two, Ekuk masks would "leave" the forest, enter the village, and invite the people to dance and sing. Ekuk means both "forest spirit" and "children of Beete". This ekuk mask, with two large horns, represents a forest antelope. Through preparation for the celebration, the return of the hunters with the antelope, the arrival of friends and guests to participate in the rite, the Beete ritual achieved its purpose - order and harmony were restored. (L.Siroto,1972). This mask has features in the center of an elaborate super-structure of fine horns.


L. Perrois, African Art, 1988, p.207; L. Siroto, African Art and Leadership, 1972).

Ekuk Mask
Ekuk Mask
Ekuk Mask