These are tremendously beautiful masks from Gabon. Really gorgeous.
This one measures 19 x 7 inches. It is old and of high quality. The condition is as shown in the pictures.
The Kwele masks of Gabon are used during initiation ceremonies and or at the end of a mourning period. The masks represent the spirits of the forest. The face of the masks are normally painted with white kaolin, the white represents the spirit world (peace and tranquility).
The Kwele believe in witchcraft and blame all their personal and social ills on its influence. The Kwele protect themselves against the power of witchcraft with the 'beete' ritual.
The 'beete' is a ritual that involves purification by the spirits who are represented in the form of 'ekuk' masks. 'Ekuk' means the 'spirits of the forest' and the 'children of the beete'. Kwele masks represent the antelope whose flesh was eaten at the end of the 'beete' ritual.
Kwele masks have two large horns which sometimes encircle and frame the face. Areas of the face are often painted with white kaolin clay, the color of the spirits. Kwele 'ekuk' masks are beautifully stylised with a heart shaped face, almond shaped eyes and a small or non-existent mouth.
This amazing pouf or floor pillow is made from vintage Handiras aka Moroccan wedding blankets. This is a full on piece of furniture stuffed firm with shredded foam.
They are woven as a dowry for brides. The blanket is handloomed with a field in off white and white stripes with tufty stripes and awesome geometrically patterned lines of sequins. Made of cotton In excellent condition. It measures 25 x 25 x 9 inches and it is stuffed fine shredded foam. The pouf will come with a bigger pillow than th eone shown, it will be more filled out. It is comfy!
Old handiras and things made from old handiras are becoming increasingly rare. The quality of the ones produced now don't compare to these.
Moroccan wedding blankets are woven in natural undyed wool and cotton, often decorated with woven pattern bands of very pretty and colourful talismanic symbols. The numerous sequins give the Handira the finishing touch but are not solemnly esthetical. They are considered to ware of the evil eye and to protect. They also reflect the sun light during the day and the glow of fire at night.
A bride wears her Tamizart as part of her dowry when she is carried to the house of the groom. According to old tradition it is highly unusual that the bride walks, she is carried on the back of a mule to her new home. During this journey a small procession of family and friends of the bride sing about her dowry and the gifts that she brings for her new family.
For more great Moroccan Wedding Blanket pillows and other pillows from around the world check out the pillows section of our shop:
A huge and superbly painted painted hand carved wooden jaguar masks from Oaxaca. This is a tradition form of folk art in Oaxaca. These vibrantly painted animals are called Alebrijes. This one measures about 10X10"
These amazing throw pillows are made from by Berber women of Morocco. They are not pieces of old rugs but have been woven as pillow cases. Made of wool and in excellent condition. This one measures 12 x 13 inches