K9T8S491.jpg (41823 bytes)Teke (Anzika, Bakono, Bateke, M’Teke, Tege, Teo, Tere, Tsio,), both Congo republics and Gabon

Butti ceremonial statue. The name of the tribe indicates its occupation – that is, trading – from teke meaning “to buy.” They are farmers and hunters and live in an area of plateaus covered by savannah, in villages grouped under a district chief. The Teke believed in a supreme being, the creator of the universe, called Nziam, but their only cult was an ancestor cult. The power of this statue is in a magical substance (bilongo or bonga) contained in the sack surrounding the body from which two heads and four feet protrude. Typical is the presence of fine parallel scarification marks (mabima) on the cheeks. Legs are bent at the knees, similar to the position of the men in their nkibi dances. The power of the butti statue is believed to be very strong. It has apotropaic functions, in other words it has the power to ward off evil. The magic stuff may be earth and plant resin mixed with white chalk, small pieces of wood, hair, or other ingredients. This double-head statue will strengthen its power even more.

Material:  wood, textile, vegetable fiber, feathers, mirror

Size: 15”x7”x6”

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