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

Masque Tetela / Yela (N° 19960)

Heart-shaped face mask surrounded by large bands of contrasting colors, made of red bark and kaolin, which could evoke the traditional scarifications of the clan. Patine mate.
The Tetela and Yela groups are of Mongo origin and are neighbours. The sculpture of the Tetela takes various forms, borrowed from the clans they rub shoulders with, among which inspirations are reflected with polychrome works. Several ethnic groups divided into lineages live closely intertwined in central Zaire: the Mbole, Yela, Lengola, and Metoko, and have similar associations. This proximity has generated some stylistic borrowings. Their artistic production has great analogies with that of the Metoko and the Lengola. Their divination masks were displayed during the closing ceremonies of the initiation and circumcision of the young people of the divination society nkunda, during which their masks "nsembu" or "ibola" appeared in pairs, male/female. These associations, including the lilwa of the Yela and Mbole, also emed those guilty of theft, adultery and murder. The judge, a high-ranking dignitary named , also presided over the ritual celebrations marking the closing of the initiations.  

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Originex-collection belge
EthnyTetela
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height33
Width18
Weight0.40 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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