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Mace and Helen Katz Neufeld Collection

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Image of Butti (Male Figure) with Bonga Cavity

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unknown Teke

Butti (Male Figure) with Bonga Cavity

ca. 1915 - ca. 1985
Carved, incised, and painted wood

12 in. (30.48 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.38
Other Number(s): 143 (Neufeld Collection Number)
#R11701 (Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) Number)
Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Teke, Congolese, Central African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Central African - Styles and cultures from a wide region of Africa that straddles the Equator and is drained largely by the Congo River system.
  • Congolese - Nationality, styles, and cultures of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • figurines - Three-dimensional works that represent humans, animals, or mythical beasts at less than half life-size. While the term may be used interchangeably with "statuette" in certain situations, it differs in that a statuette is always free-standing while a figurine may be part of a larger work, such as a decorative detail on a candelabra or mirror.
  • male - Referring to the sex that in reproduction normally produces sperm cells or male gametes.
  • power - The property of strength, influence, and dominance over others, which can be personal, political, or national.
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • sculpture - Three-dimensional works of art in which images and forms are produced in relief, in intaglio, or in the round. The term refers particularly to art works created by carving or engraving a hard material, by molding or casting a malleable material (which usually then hardens), or by assembling parts to create a three-dimensional object. It is typically used to refer to large or medium-sized objects made of stone, wood, bronze, or another metal. Small objects are typically referred to as "carvings" or another appropriate term. "Sculpture" refers to works that represent tangible beings, objects, or groups of objects, or are abstract works that have defined edges and boundaries and can be measured. As three-dimensional works become more diffused in space or time, or less tangible, use appropriate specific terms, such as "mail art" or "environmental art."
  • statues - Sculpture in the round, usually but not always depicting humans, animals, mythical beings, or small figure groups. Statues are relatively large in scale, being life-size, larger than life-size, or only slightly smaller than life-size. For small-scale representations of humans, animals, or mythical beings, use "figurines," "statuettes," or another appropriate term. For depictions of humans, animals, or mythical beings in media other than sculpture, use "figures (representations)."

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/07/1996

  • Owner Name: Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936)
    Role: Collector
    Place: London, United Kingdom
    Acquisition Method: Purchase
    Disposal Method: Sold at Auction, Christie's
    Ownership Start Date: December, 1919
    Ownership End Date: April, 27 1976
    Remarks: Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936), London, United Kingdom #11701

  • Owner Name: Christie's Tribal Art Auction
    Role: Seller
    Place: London, England
    Ownership End Date: April 27, 1976

  • Owner Name: AE. Pratt
    Role: Wellcome Representative
    Place: Paris see:
    Ownership Start Date: December, 1919
    Remarks: Pratt was a buyer for Sir Henry Wellcome

  • Owner Name: Emile Heymann, Galerie Au vieux Rouet
    Role: Seller
    Place: 87 Rue de Rennes, Paris, France
    Ownership End Date: December 1919

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0013750.
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Page Number: Lot 204
  • Christie's Tribal Art Auction, London, England Christie's Auction House. April 27, 1976
    Page Number: 22, Lot #108, Figure Number: Plate 7

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0154074.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Robert Hottot and Frank Willett. "Teke Fetishes." The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 86, no. 1 (January - June 1956): 25-36.
  • Linda Sigel, "A Private Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago." African Arts 5, no. 1 (Autumn 1971): 50-53.
  • Frank Willett, African Art (London, England: Thames & Hudson, 2002), 150,152.
  • Jean- Baptiste Bacquart, The Tribal Arts of Africa (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 153.
  • "ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA." (Accessed May 10, 2020):

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Butti (Male Figure) with Bonga Cavity |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=12/8/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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