African art > Mask > Masque Tetela
Petit masque Tetela (N° 18368)
This blind mask, of a small size, engraved with alternating parallel grooves arranged in orange motifs, evokes songye sculpture. The very geometric nose is a distance from a narrow mouth placed in a protruding chin. The outlines are pierced with holes. Two-tone matte patina.
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Eparated in the Kasai basin, the Tetela of Mongo origin have been the source of constant conflicts with their neighbors. They also participated extensively in the slave trade. Their very diverse sculpture is marked by the influence of groups living in contact with them: in the north, their art has been subjected to the influence of forest populations such as the Mongo, in the northwest that of the Nkutschu, and in the west that of Binji and Mputu. The Kuba traditions were also a source of inspiration, as were 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 sorcerer Wichi and the priest Umpa. Their traditional currency of exchange, dikonga, in the form of spearheads, has also helped to promote the talent of their blacksmiths and those of the Nkutschu.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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