African Teke mask
African Teke mask
Size: 60cm (D) - Mask above
The Teke face mask is a round moon-shaped disk that is flat, decorated with abstract geometric motifs, with horizontal stripes that are painted with white or red background and painted on top with dark earthy colors such as blue, black and browns. These stripes are arranged symmetrically along both vertical and horizontal axis of the African Teke mask and they portray an abstractly interpreted human face and at the same time, the design is a composition of symbols.
The African Teke mask originates from the upper Ogowe region in Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. Members of the Kidumu society wear Teke masks either during the funerals of chiefs, or weddings, or important meetings. The name of the Teke people originates from the occupation of the tribal Teke people-that is, trading-from Teke, meaning, "to buy. The Kidumu tribes who make this Teke mask have very strong spiritual values and the family was the most important social unit of the tribe. Under the head of the family man, he has the right to life and death over all the family members and hence the tendency for him to own many slaves and controls the lives of others as he increases his power and reputation. In terms of spiritual life of the Teke, the village chief was chosen as religious leader, he was the most important tribal member and he would keep all the potions and spiritual bones that would be used in traditional ceremonies to speak to the spirits and rule safety over his people.
Each African Teke mask is an "original" work of art, individually hand carved, no two are exactly alike which adds to the value of each piece. The original nature of tribal art will be reflected by variances from the Teke mask as shown, each piece of a specific style is similar, but not identical