African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Teke
Statue Teke (N° 12824)
A massive neck is topped with a face with voluntary expression. The rectangular beard overlooks a body whose abdomen has been hollowed out to contain the mystical charge called Bonga. A difference in hue between the body and legs demonstrates the age of this figure Buti Teke hermaphrodite (no apparent sex). Similarly this body was originally wrapped in a tissue that held the load in the abdominal cavity. The age of the piece explains the current absence of this fabric. The face and neck are coated with a sacrificial crusty patina.
Watch the video
Andeblis between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, the Teké were organized into chiefdoms whose leader was often chosen from among the blacksmiths. The head of the family, mfumu , had the right to life or death over his family whose importance determined his prestige. The leader of the clan, ngantsié, kept the great protective fetish tar mantsié who oversaw all the ceremonies. It was the mighty sorcerer and soothsayer who charged magical elements, for payment, individual statuettes. It was also according to his instructions that worship was given to the ancestors. Their secret society, kidumu, used circular flat masks adorned with polychrome geometric patterns.
This object was acquired by Olivier Danset from the ambassador of the Zaire in 1995, who himself had received it from the Marshal President.