African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Teke mask
Teke Tsaayi Kidumu mask (N° 21224)
The pictograms of the African Teke mask from Gabon emphasize oppositions symbolizing duality in the universe: circular, a band divides these masks horizontally and their surface is decorated with geometric patterns painted with often polychrome pigments.
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In addition to a lunar symbolism, these pictograms refer to regional body scarifications.
This mask is a board mask: the wearer of the mask held it between the teeth with a braided ribbon. The perforations were used to fix feathers and fibers that completed the harmony of the costume.
Only the Tsaayi, among the Teke sub-groups of Gabon, produced wooden masks from the mid-20th century. They were used by members of the secret male brotherhood kidumu ( kidumu is the name of the society, the dance, and the mask), at 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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