STATUETTE - TEKE
H : 38 cm. Wood, earth and cloth
Dapper - Paris
This enigmatic figure remains a mystery unless you
understand that its most important part, the "bilongo", made up of
earth and different organic matter, including sacrificial blood, is shrouded in
cloth tied on with cords. This is the essential magic element. In this case, the
bilongo enwraps practically the whole statue in Christo-like fashion, leaving
free only the stumpy, barely-fashioned legs and the twin-shelled head which are
the only anthropomorphic traits of this object entirely closed in on its secret.
The important Bateke tribe from the Congo made wide usage of these statuettes,
notably to favour childbirth and the health of the newly born.
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