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

Teke fetish (N° 22014)

In the highly diverse Teke statuary, bundzi fetishes are associated with the hunt they are believed to promote. While some belonged to the clan, others were dedicated to private use. Attached to the bust of this ancestor effigy, sticks are wrapped in textile and tied with wicker.
A textile loincloth dresses the statue. The parallel incisions of the face accentuate the geometric character of the features. Slightly abraded oiled dark patina.
Very slight cracks.
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 to life or death over his family, the importance of which 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 sorcerer healer and diviner who "loaded" with magic elements, against payment, the individual statuettes. It is also according to his directives that worship was given to the ancestors. Their secret society, kidumu, used circular flat masks decorated with polychrome geometric patterns.
Ref. : "100 people of Zaire and their sculpture" M.L. Félix  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, textile, vannerie
Height cm60
Width25 cm
Weight2.50 Kg

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