BATEKE FETISH FIGURES 2, DRC

The two figures below have been vetted as being authentic with signs of use and age.

Bateke
Fetish 24
9.25" high
$1000

Bateke
Fetish 25
9" high
$800


Despite their appearance, the festishes below show no evidence of age or use and were probably made to be sold.

Bateke
Fetish 16
15" high
$400

 

Bateke
Fetish 17
14.25" high
$300

 

Bateke
Fetish 18
14.25" high
$400

 

Bateke
Fetish 19
14.25" high
$300

 

Bateke
Fetish 29
20" high
$400

Bateke
Fetish 22
12.75" high
$300

Bateke
Fetish 23
13" high
$300 

Bateke
Fetish 27
7.5" high
$200


Photographs © Hamill Gallery

BATEKE, FETISH FIGURES 2, DRC

Fetishes were protective figures used by individuals, families, or whole communities. They were used to destroy or weaken evil spirits, prevent or cure illnesses, repel bad deeds, solemnize contracts or oath-taking, and decide arguments. A diviner or holy person would activate the statue, using magical substances. Fetishes gained power and were effective because people believed in them.

These small figures were individually owned and served to protect, assist or heal. Facial scarification patterns are identical to those of Bateke men. The figures gain special power by the addition of organic material (Bonga), placed in a cavity in the body or encased in a clay or cloth mantle enclosing most of the body. Each figure has its own specific purpose, known only to its owner. If a fetish successfully demonstrates its power, its owner may detach Bonga, break it into several pieces and insert fragments into other figures. He will then sell new figures to neighboring families, leaving the original statue with an emaciated body. The statues with Bonga are called Butti; without Bonga they are called Tege.

GO TO BATEKE FETISH FIGURES 1 PAGE

GO TO BATEKE FETISH FIGURES ARCHIVES PAGE (ALL SOLD)

GO TO BATEKE ART PAGE

GO TO FETISH! EXHIBITION PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN FETISHES PAGE

GO TO FETISHES (MISCELLANEOUS) PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN FIGURES PAGE

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