African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Mfinu fetish

Mfinu fetish (N° 23565)

The neighboring Teke and Mfinu have very diverse African sculptures, loaded with fetish materials, in order to promote hunting, cure diseases, facilitate childbirth, etc... Sculpted heads, in connection with the ancestors butti, are represented endowed with a prominent abdomen encrusted with a cowrie shell. Cords and woven fibers enclose everything. Dark satin patina. Height on base: 50 cm.
Established between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, the Téké were organized into chiefdoms whose chief was often chosen from among the blacksmiths. The head of the family, mfumu, had the right of life or death over his family whose importance determined his prestige. The chief of the clan, ngantsié , kept the great protective fetish tar mantsié which supervised all the ceremonies. It is the powerful witch doctor and diviner who "charged" with magical elements, against payment, the individual statuettes or nkumi . According to the Téké, wisdom was absorbed and stored in the abdomen. It is also according to the directives that sorcerer that the worship was returned to the ancestors. Their secret society, kidumu, used circular flat masks decorated with polychrome geometric patterns.  


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OriginEx-collection française
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, corne aniamle, cauris, plant fibre
Height cm42
Depth20 cm
Width13 cm
Weight1.99 Kg
Socle includedYes

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