Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
Small statuette representing a Teke ancestor. The hollowed out abdomen does not have a reliquary to shelter the mystical charge called "Bonga", the striated faces of the traditional scarification, are surmounted by a large crescent.
The crescents are surmounted by a large crescent.
Established between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, the Téké were organized into chiefdoms whose chief was often chosen from among blacksmiths. The head of the family, mfumu , had the right of life or death over his family, whose importance determined its prestige. The head of the clan, ngantsié , kept the great protective fetish, tar mantsié , who supervised all the ceremonies. It was the powerful wizard healer and soothsayer who "charged" with magical elements, in return for payment, the individual statuettes or nkumi. According to the Teke, wisdom was absorbed and stored in the abdomen. It is also according to the directives of the sorcerer that the cult was given to the ancestors. Their secret society, kidumu , used circular flat masks decorated with polychrome geometric patterns.
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