Teke Magic Figure
Teke people, Republic of Congo, Mayama region
Wood, metal buttons, accumulative materials
High 51 cm., wooden stand
P R O V E N A N C E:
Jean Delmas, Aix en Provence, South France
Teke Magic Figure, the face with diagonal incised scarification and rectangular beard, metal button eyes, the headdress with tall ridge above a disc, standing with flexed legs, the arms in relief to the side, the hands flanking a fetish cavity on the abdomen, old back patina.
According to Felix, “This magical figurine, known as nkira ntswo, a container for symbolic and magical ingredients embedded in a lump of earth is the repository of the spirits of the dead. It is used as an individual charm for protection, luck, success in hunting and trade. It is sometimes used as a reliquary for the relics of the depicted ancestor.”