African Tribal Mask Bete
The Bete people live in Icory Coast, in the south west of the country close to the Akan and Guro people. Traditionally the Bete were hunters but in more recent times have taken up farming. Many still follow their traditioanl African beliefs which are centred around their God called Lago. Spiritual guindance is sought from ancestors and pantheistic spirits residing in trees and rivers.Good relations with ancestors are key to maintaning a healthy spiritual life within Bete culture.
The mask shown is of the "gre" or "nyambwa" type. The facials exaggerations are typical of the form. Historically this kind of mask would have been worn to prepare warriors fro conflict and offers protection to them. In more recent times such masks are used as part of a variety of ceremonies and are used for entertaining.