African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tetela mask

Tetela mask (N° 23177)

Mask on which is reflected the impact of the sculpture of neighboring groups, Luba, Songye, Kusu... The structure evokes the masks of the kifwebe, the major element however consisting here of a mouth in a rectangular block, in strong projection. The organs of sight and smell are comparatively inconspicuous, while zoomorphic attributes rise to the top. Discreetly polychrome decoration with alternating diamond patterns.
Height on base: 46 cm. Losses, abrasions.
Scattered throughout the Kasai basin, the Tetela of Mongo origin have been the source of incessant conflicts with their neighbors. They also participated extensively in the slave trade. Their very diverse sculpture is marked by the influence of the groups living in contact with them: in the North, their art was subject to the influence of the populations of the forest such as the Mongo, to the northwest that of the Nkutschu, and to the West that of Binji and Mputu. Kuba traditions have also been a source of inspiration, as well as those of the Songye in the southwest. Their fetishes are kept out of sight. Animists, they seek to appease and direct the elements thanks to the wizard Wichi and the priest Umpa. Their traditional currency of exchange, "dikonga", in the form of spearheads, further contributed to making known the talent of their blacksmiths and those of the Nkutschu.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm40
Width17 cm
Weight1.06 Kg
Socle includedYes

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