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Interesting Mask/Figure

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  • Brian Matsell
    Hello, I have just acquired this interesting item that looks as if it has some age. It is made of wood with copper wire bindings and a copper nose. My
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 28, 2013
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    Hello,
     
    I have just acquired this interesting item that looks as if it has some age.  It is made of wood with copper wire bindings and a copper nose.
     
    My research on the web suggests it may be from the Gabon area, possibly it is a Mahongwe Guardian figure.  Would anyone be able to confirm this or suggest an alternative attribution.
     
    ockbrook
  • exquisite_african_art
    ... This is a Mahongwe reliquary figure. Faces of Hongwe reliquary figures are shovel-shaped. The Hongwe reliquary figures consist of three distinct sections,
    Message 2 of 3 , Mar 3, 2013
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      --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Brian Matsell <bmm@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello,
      >
      > I have just acquired this interesting item that looks as if it has some age. It is made of wood with copper wire bindings and a copper nose.
      >
      > My research on the web suggests it may be from the Gabon area, possibly it is a Mahongwe Guardian figure. Would anyone be able to confirm this or suggest an alternative attribution.
      >
      > ockbrook
      >
      This is a Mahongwe reliquary figure. Faces of Hongwe reliquary figures are shovel-shaped. The Hongwe reliquary figures consist of three distinct sections, the oval, concave face cut off at the bottom that produces a shovel like form, the cylindrical neck, and the oval openwork base. These reliquary figures belong to the ancestor cult referred to as bwete, and surrmounted bundles or baskets that held relics of extraordinary ancestors. The Hongwe are one of the many groups that live in close proximity to the northeastern Kota.
    • Lee Rubinstein
      Brian: The observable style is quite certainly that of Mahongwe *bwete *reliquary figures. Many good examples are illustrated in Louis Perrois s L art
      Message 3 of 3 , Apr 7 8:46 AM
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        Brian:

        The observable style is quite certainly that of Mahongwe bwete reliquary figures.  Many good examples are illustrated in Louis Perrois's  "L'art kota-mahongwe:  les figures funéraires du Bassin del'Ivindo (Gabon-Congo)"  ":  http://horizon.documentation.ird.fr/exl-doc/pleins_textes/pleins_textes_5/b_fdi_08-09/08873.pdf

        It would be interesting to know if you can determine the cataloguing numbers on the base -- which may provide a resource through which to determine whether additional collection data is available to determine origin, age, etc., as well as the reason that the figure was de-accessioned from the collection in which it was previously held.  

        Lee
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