African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tetela mask
Tetela mask (N° 21713)
Mask on which is reflected the impact of the sculpture of the groups living around the Tetela. The rounded forehead, with shaved temples, recalls Kuba statuary; the geometric lines the streaks of the songye masks.
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Deep brown patina, satin, locally abraded.
Scattered throughout the Kasai basin, the Tetela of Mongo origin have been the source of incessant 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. Kuba traditions have also been a source of inspiration, as well as those of the Songye in the southwest.
Their fetishes are kept out of sight. Animists, they seek to appease and rule 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 publicize the talent of their blacksmiths and those of the Nkutschu.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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