African art > African Shield > Teke shield
Teke Kidumu mask shield (N° 20391)
Only the Tsaayi, among the Teke subgroups 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.
Since the independence of the Congo, they appear more and more at celebrations.
The pictograms of the Teke masks emphasize oppositions symbolizing duality in the universe: circular, they are divided horizontally by a band and their surface is decorated with geometric motifs painted with white, red, black or ochre pigments. In addition to a lunar symbolism, these pictograms refer to regional body scarifications.
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Satin patina. Abraded polychromy. Crack of desiccation.
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