Wood figures filled with medicines are among the major art forms of the Teke peoples. The faces of these figures often display the deeply carved, evenly spaced vertical lines of traditional Teke scarification and the hatlike hairstyles of noble families. The arms were often not fully carved because they were to be covered. Some of the figures in this grouping are empty of medicine and some are full.
Wood standing male figure encased in an accumulative substance of encrusted cloth with traces of blue pigment. Elephant hairs project vertically from the top and the figure has a typical Teke face with a crested hairstyle.
Eliot Elisofon, New York, -- to 1973
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2013-February 23, 2014; Fowler Museum at UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles, April 19-September 14, 2014; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, October 15, 2015-March 9, 2016
BIG/small, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., January 17-July 23, 2006
Milbourne, Karen E. 2013. Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa. New York: The Monacelli Press; Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 63, no. 44.