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    1. #1
      Fekuni (Member)
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      Default Teke, both Congo republics and Gabon

      Teke, both Congo republics and Gabon

      The Teke inhabit the Stenley Pool area, in both Congo republics. 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.

      Among others Teke artists carved fetish figures. They have apotropaic functions, in other words they have the power to ward off evil. Each figure has its own specific purpose not related directly to its appearance. The figure may serve to protect the child until puberty, for success in hunting, trading, and other activities, each figure's purpose being known only to the owner.

      The power of the statue is in a magical substance (bilongo) contained in the small sacks surrounding the body. If a fetish figure successfully demonstrates its power, its owner may detach bilongo and insert fragments into other figures.

      Typical is the presence of fine parallel scarification marks on the cheeks. The magic stuff may be earth and plant resin mixed with white chalk, small pieces of wood, hair, or other ingredients.

      The statues with bonga are called butti; without bonga they are called tege. Often the magical substance is placed all around the body with a cloth. The arms and hands are highly conventionalized, carved in right angles at the elbows and shoulders, or missing altogether.

      The bonga is composed of various materials, but one of the main ingredients is whitish clay or chalk, which, for the Teke, represents the bones of their ancestor, thus conveying protective power. Often it is mixed with the nail clippings or the hair of a venerated person, with leaves of specific plants, various parts of snakes or leopards, etc.

      There are also statues with two faces and double legs; statues without the cavity, called nkiba; sitting figures with cavities.

      The Teke used the moon-shaped masks -- flat, decorated with abstract geometric motifs, bisected by a horizontal stripe, colored with white or red earth, painted black, blue, and brown. They portray an abstractly interpreted human face. At the same time, the design is a composition of symbols. Teke masks are worn by members of the kidumu society either during the funerals of chiefs, or weddings, or important meetings.

    2. #2
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      Default Re: Teke, both Congo republics and Gabon

      r y e gbjm. b e k sl nbi.

      This is very interesting information Sis. Oj. Thank you for sharing it here.

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