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Figure
Date: Mid-20th century
Medium: Wood, pigment, cloth, encrustation, elephant hair
Dimensions: H x W x D: 27.3 x 3.5 x 4.8 cm (10 3/4 x 1 3/8 x 1 7/8 in.)
Credit Line: Bequest of Eliot Elisofon
Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geography: Congo
Object Number: 73-7-399
Search Terms:
male
Male use
Power
Object is not currently on exhibit

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.


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