Lot: 244

98th Auction

Ancestor spirit mask "moghondzi"

Gabon, Vuvi

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
French Collection H: 11.4 inch This object is not available anymore.

wood, kaolin, polychrome pigment, plant fibre, base

These masks embody deceased ancestors. They are the property of the "bwete" initiation society.

After six months of apprenticeship in seclusion, the young "adults" return to the village. Dancers wearing "moghondzi" masks emerge from the dark forest at night to welcome the newly initiated. It is said that they come from the land of the dead, the land of "kombe", the guardian of the realm of the dead.

After their use, the masks are kept with other ritual objects in huts set up for the purpose.

Hahner-Herzog, Iris, Das Zweite Gesicht, Genf, München, New York 1997, cat. 74