K0T9S276S.jpg (27069 bytes)K0T9S276.jpg (42759 bytes)Teke (Anzika, Bakono, Bateke, M’Teke, Tege, Teo, Tere, Tsio,), both Congo republics and Gabon

Spirit (butti) figurine. The Teke are found mainly in the Republic of Congo, between the Franceville region of Gabon and the Zaire River, on both banks of the river as far as Kinshasa in the DRC and beyond. They are farmers and hunters and live in an area of plateaus covered by savanna, in villages grouped under a district chief with a ‘notable’ at the head of each. The Teke believed in a supreme being, the creator of the universe, called Nzami, but their only cult was an ancestor cult. The Teke created sculptural forms to harness the powers of spirits, both nature spirits, who serve as intermediaries between God and humans, and spirits of ancestors, who may bring health and well-being to the living. This figurine representing a butti spirit may serve diverse functions; it could be used in divination, for protection against evil powers, to get revenge, or to gain in wealth and power.

Materials: wood, feathers, beads

Size:   H. 15” W. 5”, D. 2”