Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
Click on image above to zoom.

Teke Butti Power Figure On Stand Congo 42 Inch African Art

Regular Price: $2,500.00

Special Price: $650.00

Product #: 96179
US Shipping: $72.98
Add Items to Cart

Title Teke Butti Power Figure On Stand Congo 42 Inch African Art
Type of Object Carving, power figure, Fetish
Country of Origin DR Congo, Republic of Congo
People Teke
Materials Wood, pigment, cotton cloth, vegetal fibers
Approximate Age Early to mid 20th century
Dimensions 24 inches H. x 6.5 inches W. x 7 inches D.
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair tears in cotton cloth, severe bug damage to feet area has been arrested. scratches, chips, dirt and general wear

Additional Information:

At over 40 inches tall, this Teke fetish is a towering example of culture and creativity.  The midsection is wrapped with a cloth, covering a magical charge in the belly of unknown material.  The face and head are unmistakably Teke, with a v-shaped coiffure and square lips and facial striations.  Fitted with a custom base, this wonderful fetish figure is ready for immediate display.

Teke people today mainly located today around the Kwango River basin but are found in a swath across three countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Peoples Republic of the Congo and into Gabon.

Teke  artistic activities are directed primarily to the carving of figures intended to have magical substances, known as Bonga, attached to them. Often called fetishes in the West, these powerful figures have different titles according to their purpose and who owns them. For example, figures known as Matomba prevent and cure illnesses and other figures identified as nkira ntswo, represent ancestors and were used during a ritual to propitiate nature spirits. Figures are not considered complete or powerful until given energy through the application of the magical substances into the stomach cavity, or placed as a ball around the figure.

Teke figures are magically switched on by the ngaa, the local ritual specialist after which they will be addressed and given offerings that through time add to the power that the figure contains. The facial scarification of vertical lines known as mabina are used by a number of the smaller subgroups such as the Mfinu or the Yanzi who share similar sculptural styles with the Teke.

Recommended Reading: C. Clarke, D. Binkley, B. Freyer and D. Newton. A Personal Journey Central African Art From the Lawrence Gussman Collection (2001).