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Tribal art > African mask > Masque Tetela

Masque Tetela Mwadi (N° 17255)

Scattered in 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. The Kuba traditions were also a source of inspiration, as were those of the Songye in the southwest. Their fetishes are kept out of sight. Animists, they seek to appease and direct 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 make known the talent of their blacksmiths and those of the Nkutschu.Tubular eyes on either side of a powerful pointed nose, gaping geometric mouth, topd in fan motif, form here the embodiment of a tutelary spirit. Songye's influence is notable. Interesting patina matte, abrasive. Tiny red ochre highlights.  

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This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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Originex-collection E. Caldwell USA
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm40
Width25 cm
Weight0.80 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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