The first time I came across these votives was in the Frida Kahlo Casa Azul in Mexico City. She and Diego Rivera owned over a thousand of them.
This one is dedicated to The Virgin Guadalupe for helping this luchador in his matches. It measures 10 inches long.
A retablo in Mexican folk art (also lámina) is a devotional painting, especially a small popular or folk art one using iconography derived from traditional Catholic church art. Many are ex-votos ("from a vow") that depict the story that led to their commission, usually dangerous or threatening events that actually occurred, and which the person survived, thanks to the intercession of a sacred person - God, Mary or a saint. They are made as a way of thanking the sacred person for protection in precarious situations, such as surviving an illness or earthquake. This class of ex-votos often shows the protected humans in the dangerous situation, and the sacred person who protected them, usually with an inscribed explanation of the events, with the date and location. Both devotional and especially ex-voto retablos may be deposited at a shrine as a votive offering, or alternatively kept at home.
This one measures 13 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.
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 8"x8".