African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Kongo stick
Kongo stick (N° 18331)
Tribal statuette fitted with an abdominal cavity to receive a magical charge. The charge or bilongo consisted of various ingredients from the natural environment including red clay, red wood powder tukula, white clay pembe... , but possibly human fragments such as teeth, nails, hair. This fetish of conspiracy was supposed to influence the health, prosperity, enemies of its holder. The headdress is characteristic of the statuary Béembé and Yombé, other tribes of the group Kongo.Patine golden mahogany.
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Chez the Kongo, the specialist named nganga , was in charge of the rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the terms 'sacred' or 'divine' These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men, bulwark against diseases and evil spells. Large, nkonde , nkond i, are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or family. " The Kongo Gesture Ed. Musée Dapper