Traditionally, the Teke wore masks during funerals of chiefs, weddings or important meetings. This mask was carved in the typical geometric and colorful Teke style. It measures 8.75 inches tall and weighs 1 pound. There is some minor scuffing and general wear and tear throughout. Please inspect photos carefully. Stand not included.
Colorful Geometric Teke Mask 8.75″ – DR Congo – African Art
1 in stock
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Minor cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear.
About the Teke People
“The Teke people settled in a territory lying across the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and Gabon. During the 15th century, they were integrated into the Tio kingdom, but attained independence in the 17th century. Today, they live in villages led by a clan elder known as the Mfumu, who answers to a hereditary land-chief called Mfumu na tzee. Their economy is mainly based on farming maize, millet and tobacco, but the Teke are also skilled fishermen and traders. They believe in a supreme God, Nzambi, whose favours can be objtained with the help of tutelary spirits. Teke artists carved figures predominantly surrounded by fetish material, known as Bilongo. These figures protect and assist the Teke and, if a fetish figure successfully demonstrates its power, its owner may detach its Bilongo, break it into several pieces and insert fragments into other figures. He will then sell the new figures to neighbouring families, leaving the original statue with an emaciated body.”