K8T8M634.jpg (72127 bytes)Teke-Tsaaye (Anzika, Bakono, Bateke, M’Teke, Tege, Teo, Tere, Tsio,), both Congo republics and Gabon

Ceremonial mask. The Teke and the Tsaaye inhabit the Stenley Pool area, in both Congo republics, which is an area of plateaus covered by savannah, in villages grouped under a district chief. They are farmers and hunters. This disc-shaped mask originated from the upper Ogowe region, possibly from Tsaaye, the only Teke group to have used wooden masks. This mask is one of the most amazing masks in the whole of African art, with abstract polychrome patterns. Its design is a composition of symbols, and their symbolic meaning has yet to be precisely decoded, but it apparently relates above all to animals and heavenly phenomena. The Teke-Tsaaye masquerade dances originally served to confirm and maintain the social and political structure in a ceremonial context. With the onset of French colonial rule this tradition began to go into decline, and it was not until the Congo gained independence that it was partly revived.

Material:  wood

Size: 13”x 11”x 2”