African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Teke Mask
Teke Mask (N° 22834)
The pictograms of the African Téké masks from Gabon insist on oppositions symbolizing the duality in the universe: their surface is embellished with geometric patterns painted with polychrome pigments.
In addition to lunar symbolism, these pictograms refer to regional body scarifications.
It is a plank mask that the wearer held between the teeth using a braided ribbon. The perforations were used to attach feathers and fibers which perfected the harmony of the costume.
Only the Tsaayi, among the Téké subgroups of Gabon, produced wooden masks from the mid-20th century. They were used by members of the secret male kidumu brotherhood (kidumu is the name of the society, the dance, and the mask), at the funerals of village notables or at weddings and other important ceremonies. They appear more and more, since the independence of the Congo, at celebrations.
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