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Prestige weapon

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This Teke axe is adorned with European-made brass furniture tacks. European items such as tacks and buttons would be affixed to prestige items such as this one to elevate the status of its owner. Teke axes are noted for their similarities with Teke figurative sculptures that can feature both...

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hand written paper label taped on blade: "axe, Boma Balabo Tribe"


1985, sold by Michel Huguenin, Galerie Majestic, Paris, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart

African, Teke peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 20th century, 1950–2000

Object Place

Rep. of the Congo and Dem. Rep. of the Congo


Overall: 38 x 39 x 7 cm (14 15/16 x 15 3/8 x 2 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, iron, brass tacks, wire


Africa and Oceania


Arms and armor