Teke Sculpture - Congo
This Teke statuette prepared for the birth of a boy represents a male character. The figure is represented upright with bent knees, showing that the individual mentioned is performing the sacred dance only reserved for men and called nkibi or nikibi. Traditionally, the face is tattooed with equidistant vertical marks. Teke men are still very attached to this custom.
The eyes that frame the nose are stretched in almond shape. A long beard lengthens the face. The ears on each side of the face are finely detailed. A beautiful and high coif is carved on the top of the head.
The statuette had a ritual function of protection of the child for which it was carved. It still wears a magic charge surrounding its belly.
The patina of the object reflects its ritual use and its great age.