This bisexual statue, mixing Teke and Bakongo characteristics, forms a nkisi support, and was used, according to Marc Léo Félix, for therapeutic, propitiatory, or even magical rites. In various Kongo groups, the two-sexed being is often associated with Lemba society. The character has cylindrical objects in each hand, a Kongo gesture (Manyangas, Lumbus, etc.). His head is round and imposing, topped with a crested hat, and surmounting a stretched bust, with a bulbous abdomen, on short stubby legs.
Cracks and slight misses.
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Ochre brown matte patina.
Established between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon, the Téké were organized into chiefdoms whose leader was often chosen from among the blacksmiths. The head of the family, mfumu , had the right of life or death over his family, whose importance determined his prestige. The head of the clan, ngantsié, for his part kept the great protective fetish tar mantsié who supervised all the ceremonies. It was the powerful sorcerer-healer and diviner who "loaded" the individual statuettes or nkumi with magical elements in return for payment. According to the Teke, wisdom was absorbed and stored in the abdomen. It was also according to the directives that witchdoctor that worship was given to the ancestors.
Having been part of the Tio kingdom like the Teke during the fifteenth century, the Mfinu became autonomous from the nineteenth, grouped into villages headed by the "mbé ". Their sculptures are of the same type as those of the Teke, while differing somewhat.
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